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Match verdict: Leicester City have their own Lazarus to thank

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Barnsley have become a bit of a bogey side for Leicester City in the last 18 months.

The Tykes took four points against City last season, including a 2-1 victory at the King Power Stadium, and they very nearly repeated that feat again on Saturday until Jamie Vardy spared the home side's blushes with a last-minute equaliser.

It was never going to be as straightforward as it seemed before kick-off.

Barnsley were without a win in nine games and had tasted just one victory in 13.

They were travelling to the home of a side that had been beaten at the King Power Stadium just once in the league, and that was against title contenders Crystal Palace, and had dispatched their last two victims 6-0 and 4-1 on their own turf.

The odds were not just stacked against the Tykes, they were not even considered to be in the race.

However, as happens so often in the Championship, the script was torn up by two calamitous defensive moments from City to hand Barnsley what would have been an unlikely victory until Vardy's timely intervention.

It all looked like going to plan for Nigel Pearson's men when Anthony Knockaert swept them in front after just nine minutes, and many City fans must have thought there was going to be another cricket scored racked up on home soil.

But then goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, whose kicking is normally one of his strengths, gifted possession to Barnsley just outside his penalty area with a wayward pass and Stephen Dawson fired home the equaliser after Craig Davies' initial shot had been blocked.

Just before half-time, the unthinkable happened and Barnsley again took advantage of some sloppiness from City.

Andy King gave away a needless corner and, from the set-piece, the superbly named Reuben Noble-Lazarus put the visitors in front with an overhead kick.

City dominated possession in the second period without creating too many openings against a packed Barnsley defence.

The scribes must have been preparing some biblical pun headlines for Lazarus' potential winner until 17 seconds of normal time remained and substitute Vardy grabbed the equaliser.

There was more drama to come as City laid siege to the Tykes goal during five minutes of added-time, and King had a hat-trick of chances to win it for City, but they came up short.

A salvaged point shows City have got plenty of fighting spirit as they never gave up hope, despite it looking like one of those days.

But the simple truth is that, if City are to seriously challenge for automatic promotion, sides like Barnsley, however plucky they may be, must be put to the sword at the King Power Stadium.

Match verdict: Leicester City have their own Lazarus to thank


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