Leicester spirit inspires Ulloa


Leonardo Ulloa said his stoppage-time penalty that rescued a point for Leicester City in their 2-2 draw with West Ham was yet another example of the team spirit that can carry the Foxes to the Premier League title.

Down to 10 men after Jamie Vardy — who opened the scoring — had been sent off by referee Jon Moss for diving in an attempt to win a penalty — Leicester found themselves 2-1 behind after Andy Carroll and Aaron Cresswell scored inside the final six minutes of normal time at Leicester’s King Power Stadium.

But the Foxes kept pressing and substitute Ulloa gained what could be a precious point when he slotted home shortly before the final whistle.

Leicester, bidding to be crowned champions of England for the first time in their 132-year history after being 5,000/1 rank outsiders for the title in pre-season, now lead the table by eight points.

But their advantage will be cut to five points if second-placed Tottenham Hotspur beat Stoke on Monday.

“We had one player less, so (Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri) told me to stay in the middle, keep the ball and put on pressure when we can,” Ulloa said.

“It was a difficult moment because we were down to 10 men, but we defended well and then attacked when we could.”

“We showed great character,” the Argentinian striker added. “I love to play with this team because we all fight together.

“We fight together until the last minute and we got the penalty, and afterwards we are all happy.

“I love to play with this team because they have this character when we are losing or in a bad situation. We are always fighting together.

“We are a team and that is more important, not for me but for everyone. When we are on the pitch, we work together and help each other.”

Ulloa exemplified that resolve in making light of the pressure with a well-struck spot-kick, having seen his winner against Norwich in February lead to an earthquake that measured 0.3 on the Richter scale.

“I didn’t think about the pressure of the situation at that moment,” he said of Sunday’s spot-kick drama.

“I felt after I scored how important the goal was. The feeling was so good.

“I appreciated the moment and everyone enjoyed it. I know about this earthquake, but I just enjoy it when I can when I score some goals.”

Ulloa is now set to start up front when Leicester return to action against Swansea on Sunday, a match that top-scorer Vardy will miss through suspension.