Vardy’s penalty flop leaves wasteful Foxes at risk of Europa League exit

JAMIE VARDY suffered from the spot as Leicester blew their chance to join Napoli at the top of Group C.

The veteran striker came off the bench with 20 minutes left and five minutes later he shaped up to take a crucial penalty after Victor Moses had wrestled Ademola Lookman to the turf.

Leicester star Jamie Vardy missed a crucial penalty against Spartak Moscow in the Europa League

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Leicester star Jamie Vardy missed a crucial penalty against Spartak Moscow in the Europa LeagueCredit: Getty
Leicester wasted points against Spartak Moscow at the King Power Stadium

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Leicester wasted points against Spartak Moscow at the King Power StadiumCredit: Getty

But for once the Leicester legend failed to deliver as Aleksandr Selikhov dived to his left to deny him.

And Leicester’s luck ran out completely when sub Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s netbound header struck team-mate Kelechi Iheanacho – who then struck the post from two yards from the rebound.

That summed up a frustrating night for the Foxes, who remain third and need a win against Legia Warsaw in their penultimate game to keep their qualifying hopes on track.

Napoli’s 4-1 win against Legia in Warsaw, prior to kick-off, suggested the cream was finally rising to the top of Group C.

Or so we thought.

However it was soon evident Spartak were in no mood to open up and repeat the end-to-end seven-goal thriller we witnessed in Moscow.

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Four days after shipping four goals at home to Leicester, Spartak conceded SEVEN as they crashed to a humiliating 7-1 defeat at the hands of Russian league leaders Zenit St Petersburg.

That led to some serious questions being asked by their disgusted fans, so not surprisingly Spartak’s under-pressure Portuguese boss Rui Vitoria was in damage limitation mode.

His five-man defence managed to smother Leicester’s attack during a sterile first half which only managed to produce one moment worthy of raising bums off seats.

The fact it was Boubakary Soumare who came closest to breaking the deadlock spoke volumes.

The French midfielder only managed to score once in 112 appearances for Lille but he found himself in space Patson Daka and Iheanacho could only dream of after 18 minutes.

Iheanacho took in a pass from Youri Tielemans which Samuel Gigot poked clear.

For once, Leicester star Jamie Vardy failed to deliver at a crucial moment

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For once, Leicester star Jamie Vardy failed to deliver at a crucial momentCredit: Reuters

Soumare pounced on it 25 yards out and smashed a left-foot screamer which crashed off the underside of Selikhov’s bar and bounced clear.

With luck like that it’s no wonder he only averages a goal every couple of years!

Having reached half-time unscathed Spartak then had the nerve to silence the King Power Stadium by snatching the lead six minutes after the break.

Mikhail Ignatov’s cross picked out Moses and the former Chelsea man stole in between Jonny Evans and Daniel Amartey to steer his header beyond Kasper Schmeichel.

It was a timely reminder of Antonio Conte’s ability to convert Moses into a potent wing-back.

That left Leicester rock bottom of the group – but not for long.

The Foxes fought back to equalise seven minutes later when Ayoze Perez flicked on Ryan Bertrand’s near post corner and Amartey outmuscled Roman Zobnin to head home.

Brendan Rodgers sent on Wilfred Ndidi and Lookman, then his trump card Vardy as he searched for a late winner.

Within five minutes he thought he had it when Moses manhandled Lookman to concede a penalty.

But for once Vardy failed to deliver.

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