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Published: 15:02 | 18/1/16

Leicester back on top after draw

Mahrez misses penalty

Leicester returned to the top of the Barclays Premier League after drawing 1-1 with Aston Villa at Villa Park, but could have taken all three points had Riyad Mahrez been able to convert a 33rd minute penalty.

Shinji Okazaki put the high-flying Foxes ahead on 28 minutes, tapping in the rebound after Jamie Vardy's cheeky flick had been superbly saved by Villa goalkeeper Mark Bunn.

Substitute Rudy Gestede equalised fifteen minutes from the end and, while both sides had chances to win it, a draw was probably a fair result in the end after the home side had come back into the game in the second half after Leicester had dominated the opening 45 minutes.

The result means that Leicester are a point clear of Manchester City and Arsenal at the top of the table with the Gunners set to play tomorrow, while Villa are now nine points from safety following Newcastle's win earlier in the day.

Leicester had created a number of decent openings before Okazaki put them ahead just before the half hour mark, but should have been two up five minutes later after Ally Cissokho was adjudged to have handled in the penalty area.

Mahrez stepped up to take the spot-kick but Bunn, diving low to his left, somehow managed to get a foot to the French midfielder's shot which was heading straight down the middle and deflect it away to safety.

Villa were much improved after the break and might have had a penalty themselves on the hour mark when Libor Kozak appeared to be caught by Robert Huth's flailing arm, but the referee waved play on.

But they were deservedly level 15 minutes from time as substitute Gestede fired past Kaspar Schmeichel with the aid of a deflection off Wes Morgan.

However, the striker appeared to handle the ball in the build-up and Leicester will feel aggrieved that they weren't awarded a free kick.

Kozak had a good chance to win it for Villa four minutes from time, but he couldn't keep his volley on target.

At the other end, Jamie Vardy fired wide from a tight angle as the game entered five minutes of stoppage time.

But neither side could find a winning goal and had to content themselves with a point apiece.

By Nick Royle

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