NACER CHADLI was just what the doctor ordered as his world-class goal jolted life into a dreary derby.
The West Brom midfielder is just back on duty after going to see controversial therapist Dr Hans Muller-Wohlfahrt for a back injury.
Muller-Wohlfahrt is famous for his ‘alternative’ treatments, which include using calves blood and the crest of a cockerel.
But Baggies boss Tony Pulis will not give a hoot whether it was the eye of a newt if it means his Belgian star plays like this.
Chadli has also been away for World Cup action with Belgium — and it is more likely rubbing shoulders with Kevin de Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku has given him an injection of life.
Late on, his sweet free-kick was cancelled out by Riyad Mahrez’s beautifully-taken equaliser.
But every one of Chadli’s illustrious Belgian team-mates would have been proud of the precise, powerful free-kick that baffled City keeper Kasper Schmeichel.
It was Chadli’s first start of the season and first goal since February. After such a classy strike, it is odds on Pulis will be sending all his players to see the German medicine man.
West Brom keeper Boaz Myhill will certainly be seeing some sort of doctor today after hobbling his way through most of the second half virtually on one leg.
There is no doubt Myhill’s limp played a big part in woeful Leicester grabbing an equaliser with ten minutes left when any fully-fit Pulis team would have shut up shop long before.
Myhill was making his first league start for 18 months as understudy to crocked Ben Foster and has now joined the walking wounded himself.
He was hurt by the onrushing Jamie Vardy early in the second half in a crunching collision.
A minute or so later, Myhill hit the deck shaping up to take a goal kick clutching his leg. Pulis refused to take him off — and ultimately paid the price. Having made a great save from Danny Simpson in the first half, Myhill was clearly struggling.
And when Mahrez squeezed a low shot through a sea of legs in the 80th minute he had no way of getting down to save it.
Had third-choice Alex Palmer been on Pulis might have been celebrating three points today and ending a run of six winless matches.
Gareth Southgate was at the King Power Stadium to watch the match and for the first half found out what it’s like to be an England fan.
It was drab, slow and uninspiring — until Chadli stepped up in the 63rd minute.
Jake Livermore shielded the ball from Schmeichel’s view and Chadli delivered a stunning swerving free-kick from 30 yards.
INTERACTIVE STATS – CLICK on the categories to find out how the teams fared
INTERACTIVE LINE-UPS– CLICK on a player’s number below to see their stats
STATS, FACTS, GOALS & LOLS
- Leicester have won just once in their last 11 to-flight matches under Craig Shakespeare.
- The meeting between the Foxes and the Baggies is just the seventh Premier League game between the pair – West Brom winning twice, drawing twice and Leicester winning on three occasions.
- West Brom have never lost an away fixture to Leicester in the Premier League – winning two and drawing two.
- The Baggies are unbeaten in their last eight away league games against Leicester – winning five and drawing three.
- West Brom scored with their only shot on target of the game.
- It’s the second time in the last three seasons West Brom have scored a free-kick at the King Power Stadium – Craig Gardner netted in the 2015/16 campaign.
- Under Tony Pulis, the Baggies have scored 47 goals from set-pieces (excluding penalties) – more than any other side in the league.
- Leicester have won four games, drawn once and lost once when playing at home on a Monday night.
- In contrast, West Brom have won just once out of their last 12 top-flight away matches on a Monday – drawing on five occasions and losing six times.
- Nacer Chadli netted his first goal in his last 12 Premier League appearances, since scoring against West Ham on February 11 2017.
WHAT THEY SAID
West Brom goalkeeper Boaz Myhill said: “I finished the game in a quarter of a piece.
“We’re delighted with a point…we’re gutted we couldn’t hold on but they’re a top team.”
He added on his collison with Jamie Vardy: “I had to do what I had to do.”
Leicester shot-stopper Kasper Schmeichel said: “We won’t get any points for it being a classic. We didn’t make the most of our possession in the final third.”
On conceding the free-kick, he added: “I was struggling to see it from the start.
“I had to stand my ground and hope he goes my side.”
Foxes boss Craig Shakespeare said: “We Finished on the front foot after changing shape. We got a response and gave it everything. Bit laboured first half.
“We worked in training on breaking them down in that setting, but a game is different. We were resilient to fight back.
“Riyad probably had an easier chance just before, which he would expect to score. But he kept his head up and got his reward.”