Wes Morgan spared Leicester’s blushes as his late equaliser rescued a 2-2 draw against second tier Derby in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday.
Claudio Ranieri’s spluttering side were just four minutes away from an embarrassing exit at the hands of their local rivals when Foxes defender Morgan headed home to force a replay.
Derby striker Darren Bent had given Leicester an early lead with a bizarre own goal before making amends with a glancing header.
Craig Bryson’s fine finish just before half-time put Derby ahead and the left Premier League champions reeling again before Morgan came to their aid in the nick of time.
“It was a tough match. We started well and scored but slowly we lost our calm,” Ranieri said. “We have to concentrate. Too many times we concede. We can only work and be more focused. In the second half we again started well. It was tough to score but thankfully Morgan got one for us.”
After so many poor results of late, things were looking up for Leicester when Bent sliced his attempted goal line clearance into the net after Robert Huth’s header struck Chris Baird and bounced towards the net in the eighth minute.
Bent soon had a chance to redeem himself following good work by Johnny Russell, who cut into the penalty area from the left, but he scuffed his shot eight yards out.
However, Bent equalised after 21 minutes, proving he is much more effective at the other end, glancing home a header from Will Hughes’ clipped cross.
Shinji Okazaki’s driving run and shot brought a fine fingertip save from Scott Carson as he helped the shot over the crossbar before a similar surge forward from Jamie Vardy saw his shot deflected just wide.
Derby deservedly led at the break after Bryson’s strike.
The midfielder won the ball 30 yards from goal before breaking into the penalty area past Morgan and sending a left-footed shot beyond Kasper Schmeichel and into the far corner of the net.
Ranieri made an attacking change at half-time with Demarai Gray replacing Christian Fuchs and it almost paid dividends immediately.
Gray saw a shot from the left side of the box come back off the far post and this time Okazaki sent the rebound straight at the grounded Carson.
Carson was also in the right place again to catch Vardy’s powerful header after Derby switched off from a throw-in.
Leicester and deservedly equalised when Morgan headed home Gray’s inswinging corner three minutes from time.
Huth survived a penalty appeal when Tom Ince’s effort struck his hand and the neighbours will meet again at the King Power Stadium next month.