Match ends, Fulham 1, Leicester City 1.
Fulham 1-1 Leicester City: James Maddison goal denies Ranieri victory
Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri was denied victory over former club Leicester as James Maddison scored for the second successive match to secure a point for the Foxes.
Until Maddison swept in the equaliser from Shinji Okazaki's cross from the right, the hosts had looked on course to climb off the bottom of the Premier League and out of the relegation zone thanks to Aboubakar Kamara's goal.
The French forward, who had not scored in a league match since 2 January, chased on to Aleksandar Mitrovic's flick, exploiting a mistake from Caglar Soyuncu, to drive a shot through Kasper Schmeichel's legs.
But the visitors, who had started brightly and passed up more than enough chances to win, deserved their point.
It left the Cottagers to equal an unwanted club record of 19 top-flight matches in a row without a clean sheet, dating back to 1950, and only Barnsley, in 1997-98, have conceded more goals at this stage of a Premier League season.
The result leaves Fulham bottom of the table, while Leicester remain ninth.
Different proposition for Ranieri
When Ranieri masterminded Leicester's stunning Premier League title-winning campaign two years ago, he did so at odds of 5,000-1.
His latest job - leading Fulham to safety - is certainly a more modest challenge, but it is an altogether different proposition at the wrong end of the table.
Ranieri arrested a sequence of seven consecutive defeats with victory over Southampton, but he is yet to plug the top-flight's leakiest defence.
Fulham have not won consecutive home matches in the Premier League since April 2013 - and with trips to Manchester United, Newcastle and Arsenal in the next month, they may regard this as an opportunity missed.
Despite posing an attacking threat with 25 shots on goal, only seven of those were on target, and they looked decidedly shaky at the back.
Goalkeeper Sergio Rico made several excellent stops, particularly to deny Kelechi Iheanacho in the opening two minutes, while Wes Morgan and Maddison both failed to hit the target from close range when unmarked.
Maddison strikes new tone
Leicester's team contained five players involved in Ranieri's last fixture in charge - a 2-1 Champions League defeat in Seville in February 2017 - but there is a different feel to them under Claude Puel.
Without the pace of Jamie Vardy, missing with a groin injury, the lightning counter-attacking style employed by Ranieri gave way to a more possession-orientated approach.
And during a first period in which they controlled the flow and tempo of the game, the Foxes could have put the result beyond doubt.
Maddison was at the heart of their best work - providing tempo to their passing - and it was his threaded pass that set Iheanacho away early on.
Once Okazaki and Demarai Gray had been introduced, the 22-year-old had the freedom to press further forward and his surge into the penalty area delivered the reward of an equalising goal, his fifth of an impressive debut season in the Premier League.
Had he not snatched at a late chance from eight yards - the only one of his three efforts not to hit the target - the Foxes may have won the first of three consecutive matches against London clubs.
Man of the match - James Maddison (Leicester City)
'Sooner or later we will win' - what they said
Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri speaking to BBC Match of the Day: "I think a draw was right. It was just that they had two great chances at the beginning and they had another two after they scored.
"In our best moment we conceded a goal and we then had the last chance to win the game. A draw is OK. We have to fight and sooner or later we will win. Everybody is working hard to do their best and in the second half we had the match in our hands. But that's football."
On Fulham's defensive problems: "I have to solve it working every day, more and more and more."
On his reception from fans: "The experience was fantastic from the beginning when the fans together shouted my name. But after I was so concentrated."
Leicester manager Claude Puel speaking to BBC Match of the Day: "I think it was a normal draw. Any team could have won or lost this game. We had good chances, particularly in the first half.
"We played a good team, who did well against Chelsea and Southampton. We were up and down in the game and we needed to manage it more.
"I would like to congratulate my players for coming back, which is a good thing for our mentality. We believed in ourselves and that's a good sign for the future."
On Kelechi Iheanacho: "After his first chance he lacked a little confidence to move and create other situations. I'm happy about our mentality to fight and try to win but today we had a lot of difficulties."
On Jamie Vardy being back for the weekend: "I don't know, we will see. We will adapt in the few days before the game."
Fulham's joint worst start - the stats
- Fulham's tally of nine points after 15 league games is their joint-worst total at this stage of a season in the Football League (assuming three points for a win), level with the nine they had in the third tier in 1993-94, a season in which they were relegated.
- Leicester have gone six league games without defeat (W2 D4) for the first time since May 2016 (12 games), when they won the Premier League under Ranieri.
- Leicester have not lost any of their past five away Premier League games against newly promoted opponents (W3 D2), their best ever undefeated run away at such opposition in the competition.
- Kamara is the first French player to score a Premier League goal for Fulham (excluding own goals) since Philippe Christanval against West Ham in January 2007.
- Mitrovic has been directly involved in 60% of Fulham's 15 league goals this season (seven goals, two assists), the highest ratio for any player for a particular club in the Premier League.
Fulham travel to Manchester United in their next Premier League game on Saturday (15:00 GMT) while Leicester host Tottenham on the same day (19:45 GMT).
- 22ChristieSubstituted forReamat 84'minutes
- 20Le MarchandSubstituted forBryanat 77'minutes
- 19ViettoSubstituted forCairneyat 45'minutes
- 3R Sessegnon
- 29Zambo Anguissa
- 2SimpsonSubstituted forOkazakiat 72'minutes
- 24MendySubstituted forIborraat 71'minutes
- 27DiabatéSubstituted forGrayat 55'minutes
- 14Ricardo Pereira
- David Coote
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Fulham 1, Leicester City 1.
Attempt missed. Denis Odoi (Fulham) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Tom Cairney following a corner.
Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Caglar Söyüncü.
Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Caglar Söyüncü.
Attempt blocked. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jean Michael Seri with a cross.
Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Ben Chilwell.
Attempt missed. James Maddison (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.
Attempt saved. James Maddison (Leicester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kelechi Iheanacho.
Attempt saved. Demarai Gray (Leicester City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Kelechi Iheanacho.
Attempt missed. Denis Odoi (Fulham) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Jean Michael Seri with a cross following a set piece situation.
Foul by Caglar Söyüncü (Leicester City).
Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt missed. Joe Bryan (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jean Michael Seri.
Attempt missed. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ryan Sessegnon with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Wes Morgan.
Attempt saved. Tom Cairney (Fulham) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Substitution, Fulham. Tim Ream replaces Cyrus Christie.
Attempt missed. Vicente Iborra (Leicester City) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by James Maddison with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Joe Bryan.
Attempt blocked. Demarai Gray (Leicester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by James Maddison.
Attempt missed. Aboubakar Kamara (Fulham) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Ryan Sessegnon.
Vicente Iborra (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Jean Michael Seri (Fulham).
Offside, Fulham. Calum Chambers tries a through ball, but Aleksandar Mitrovic is caught offside.
Substitution, Fulham. Joe Bryan replaces Maxime Le Marchand because of an injury.
Ben Chilwell (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Aboubakar Kamara (Fulham).
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Maxime Le Marchand (Fulham) because of an injury.
Foul by Demarai Gray (Leicester City).
Jean Michael Seri (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Goal! Fulham 1, Leicester City 1. James Maddison (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Shinji Okazaki.
Attempt blocked. Calum Chambers (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Dangerous play by Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham).
Substitution, Leicester City. Shinji Okazaki replaces Danny Simpson.
Substitution, Leicester City. Vicente Iborra replaces Nampalys Mendy.
Attempt missed. Tom Cairney (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Ryan Sessegnon.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.