Penalty fury as Negredo gets back on goal trail

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MIDDLESBROUGH’S head coach Aitor Karanka was unhappy with referee Lee Mason after Leicester’s first penalty and revealed that Wes Morgan owned up to fouling Calum Chambers, which forced him to handle.

Karanka said after being denied victory against the struggling champions: “I was sure one player pushed Calum Chambers. If I had one doubt, which I didn’t have, the players told me Morgan recognised to them he had pushed Calum.

“I’ve been here for three years and I always say football is about a team. If we want to win or lose we’re working as a team, and the referees work as a team.

“There’s four of them on the pitch and for me it’s difficult to understand how four members of the same team decided for that penalty.

“For me, it’s a clear foul. The fourth official has the same view as me, the linesman has the same view, so for that reason it’s frustrating as football is about teams.”

Islam Slimani’s stoppage-time penalty rescued a draw for the hosts, but the outcome still left the Foxes with just one win in their last eight league games.

Alvaro Negredo’s double twice put Boro ahead and looked to have given the visitors a deserved victory, despite Riyad Mahrez equalising from the spot in the first half, before Marten De Roon fouled Morgan in the area and Slimani scored.

Negredo’s goalless run since August had sparked criticism, but Karanka always believed the Valencia loanee would end his barren spell.

“I see them every day, work with them every day; he is working a lot and with his quality one day he was going to score,” he said.

“I don’t know if he was aware of criticism, you have to speak with him. When I arrived he was perfect for me.”

Boro lone striker Negredo ended his 11-game goal drought with a fine first-half finish before a ruthless strike arrowed beyond Ron-Robert Zieler after the break.

Mahrez’s penalty levelled, but Leicester were second best for long spells.

Shinji Okazaki hit the bar just minutes before Mahrez’s penalty, but home manager Claudio Ranieri conceded his side were poor.

Leicester City: Zieler, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez (Musa 68), Amartey, King, Albrighton, Okazaki (Gray 76), Vardy (Slimani 65). Unused substitutes: Hernandez, James, Hamer, Schlupp.

Middlesbrough: Valdes, Barragan, Chambers, Gibson, Da Silva, Traore (Stuani 79), de Roon, Clayton, Forshaw, Ramirez (Fischer 88), Negredo. Unused substitutes: Bernardo, Leadbitter, Guzan, Downing, Nsue.

Referee: L Mason (Lancashire).

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