Leicester 0 Sunderland 0 – 22 November 2014

Leicester’s winless run extended to seven games as they were held to a goalless draw by Sunderland at the King Power Stadium this afternoon.

The Foxes had opportunities to break the deadlock in the second half through Matty James and Jeff Schlupp, although Kasper Schmeichel certainly played his part in Leicester’s second clean sheet of the season by denying Steven Fletcher from close range.

The result lifted Leicester out of the bottom three, with Crystal Palace still to play Liverpool this weekend, although Nigel Pearson’s side are now without a goal in their last five matches – and have gone over two months without winning a game.

Pearson opted to test the Black Cats with width in a 4-4-2 formation, as Riyad Mahrez and Jeff Schlupp were preferred in midfield over Andy King and Danny Drinkwater, with David Nugent named among the replacements.

Leicester could have taken the lead after two minutes when Marcin Wasilewski found himself unmarked from an attacking corner, but was unable to guide his header on target.

Jamie Vardy was then denied by Sunderland goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon from close range, before Riyad Mahrez tested the Romanian with a low strike from 25 yards.

Leicester’s lively start continued as some great build-up play between Mahrez and Leonardo Ulloa allowed Jeff Schlupp to shoot inside the penalty area, but the Ghanaian international could only hit the side netting.

At the other end, Kasper Schmeichel denied Steven Fletcher with a superb block after Adam Johnson had picked out the Scottish international in a dangerous position.

Johnson tested Schmeichel just after the half-hour mark with a shot of his own which dipped and bounced before being parried to safety, as both sides looked threatening in front of goal.

Riyad Mahrez then came close to breaking the deadlock when his deep cross almost crept inside Pantilimon’s far post, before Wes Morgan threw himself in front of Sebastian Larsson’s powerful close-range strike, which seemed destined to hit the back of the net.

Leicester continued to attack after the break and came close to taking the lead through Matty James, but his effort was parried away by Pantilimon who continued to frustrate the home side.

Just before the hour mark, Riyad Mahrez was cleaned out following a collision with Sunderland right-back Anthony Réveillère on the edge of the area that left Leicester claiming a free-kick or a penalty, but referee Robert Madley was unmoved by the protests of the home fans.

Lee Cattermole was then penalised for a heavy challenge on Esteban Cambiasso, which saw both Cattermole and Jamie Vardy cautioned as the game looked like boiling over.

Matty James was again denied by Pantilimon after the influential midfielder played a clever one-two with Ulloa, but his resulting shot was not enough to cause the giant keeper any problems.

Schmeichel was on hand to make another save from Steven Fletcher with 20 minutes remaining, before substitute David Nugent dragged his first-time shot wide of goal at the other end.

Leicester continued in search of a goal, but the Black Cats held strong to ensure that the points would be shared in a game that neither side wanted to lose.

The performance of Nigel Pearson’s side was much improved, but the result will certainly frustrate some Leicester fans – and the five-game goal drought will be a real concern for most.

Man of the Match: Wes Morgan