London, December 6: James Maddison denied Claudio Ranieri a victorious reunion with Leicester City as his second-half equaliser forced Fulham to settle for a 1-1 home draw on Wednesday (December 5).
Beaten by former employers Chelsea on the weekend, veteran manager Ranieri looked set to enjoy more fortune against the club he famously guided to the 2015-16 title following Aboubakar Kamara's maiden Premier League goal.
That was until playmaker Maddison picked out the bottom corner 16 minutes from the end to extend the Foxes' unbeaten run to six Premier League matches.
The 22-year-old's second goal in as many outings scuppered the bottom-placed Cottagers' hopes of a first clean sheet of the campaign and left them ruing a wasted opportunity.
Jamie Vardy missed out with a groin problem and Leicester felt his absence in the third minute, Kelechi Iheanacho failing to beat Sergio Rico in a one-on-one following Maddison's pass.
Kasper Schmeichel soon rivalled his opposite number's efforts by brilliantly turning Calum Chambers' volley past the post.
But the Foxes goalkeeper was exposed when Caglar Soyuncu's naive slide allowed Kamara, who had chased down Aleksandar Mitrovic's flick-on, to turn inside from the byline and finish coolly in the 42nd minute.
Ranieri introduced Tom Cairney at the interval and the classy midfielder went close to doubling the advantage in the 70th minute, curling agonisingly wide from the edge of the area.
Instead, it was left to key man Maddison to demonstrate the poise Leicester had long lacked, stroking beyond Rico from Shinji Okazaki's intelligent pass to seal a share of the points.
Ranieri, meanwhile, will have been frustrated that the final chance to snatch back the lead fell to Denis Odoi, the defender spooning well over from close range in added time.
What does it mean? Foxes need Vardy to party
Claude Puel was unwilling to rule out surgery as an option to alleviate striker Vardy's ongoing groin issue when pressed on the matter ahead of this match.
The early chance Iheanacho squandered and a lack of cutting edge throughout much of the contest means Leicester will surely seek to avoid that possibility unless a suitable replacement is signed in January.
Maddison the mastermind
England squad member Maddison has well and truly atoned for his sending off against Brighton and Hove Albion in November, striking here for the second match on the trot and laying on five key passes - four more than any other Leicester player.
MADDISON SCORES!— Leicester City (@LCFC) 5 December 2018
We are level!!! pic.twitter.com/ZQKgS72KJ6
Vietto fails to convince
Handed his first Premier League start for a month, Luciano Vietto may have to wait some time for another opportunity.
The Argentine attacker struggled to adapt to the pace of the game in the 45 minutes he spent on the pitch and produced a tame attempt with his only sight of goal, before Cairney replaced him.
Fulham's bid to get off the bottom does not get any easier as they meet Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday (December 8), the same day as in-form Leicester host Tottenham in an attractive fixture.