Stoke City missed the chance to climb out of the Premier League relegation zone after drawing 1-1 with Leicester City at the King Power on Saturday afternoon.
The Potters took the lead late in the first-half through Xherdan Shaqiri and looked reasonably comfortable, but a Jack Butland own goal after 70 minutes ensured that the points would be shared in Leicestershire.
Stoke were 20 minutes away from recording their first win in four league outings but three precious points were snatched away from them when Butland, labeled the ‘best goalkeeper in Britain’ at full-time by manager Paul Lambert, bundled the ball into his own net.
A surging run by an impressive Mark Albrighton ended in a driven cross towards Jamie Vardy in the penalty area. The England international, nor his marker Moritz Bauer, could connect and the ball subsequently bounced off Butland.
The visitors had started brightly against a somewhat off-the-pace Leicester side in the weekend’s early kick-off. Claude Puel’s side are in no immediate danger of relegation which might explain their lethargic opening to this encounter or why they have won just twice in their last eleven.
The Foxes were punished for their lack of impetus when Shaqiri scored for the third league game running - a first for the former Bayern Munich forward. The 26-year-old collected a Joe Allen pass and surged unchallenged towards the box before curling the ball around Peter Schmeichel.
The hosts improved after the break and could have stolen the three points following their equaliser. Butland quickly recovered from his error to produce an outstanding save to deny Riyad Mahrez from the edge of the area but could do nothing about Harry Maguire’s effort, which was lashed against the post.
Mahrez was again denied as, after being put through on goal courtesy of a Charlie Adam mistake, Butland and Kurt Zouma managed to prevent the Algerian’s strike from crossing the line. A subsequent corner arguably produced the best chance of the match when Mahrez’s delivery was met by Matty James, who saw his header come back off the post.
A seventh away point of the season for Stoke could mean nothing if they lose to fellow strugglers Southampton in their next Premier League fixture. Just a point seperate the two clubs in the table and a win for either would be welcome in their fight for survival. Leicester have games against Bournemouth and bottom-placed West Brom to come as they look to truly cement their top-flight status.