Leicester City shared a 0-0 draw with Burnley at the King Power stadium on Saturday when football was again overshadowed by emotional tributes to the club’s late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
Thousands of supporters walked to the stadium from the city centre before the Premier League game, which was preceded by two minutes silence for the Thai billionaire. Vichai died in a helicopter match before City’s last home match two weeks’ ago.
With Vichai’s family in attendance, Leicester’s players, who made a 19,000 km round trip to Thailand for the funeral in midweek, wore a special commemorative shirt, while almost every fan sported one of the specially distributed scarves bearing the words “Forever In Our Hearts”.
The football was always going to be of secondary importance in such emotionally charged circumstances and Leicester, without this season’s ever-presents Harry Maguire and James Maddison through injury, struggled to keep their focus.
Jamie Vardy, who has not scored in five league games, went closest in the first half with a shot that was cleared off the line by Matt Lowton as Burnley battled to avoid a fourth successive league defeat.
The game opened up after the break, when Burnley’s Chris Wood sliced over and Ricardo Pereira headed wide for mid-table Leicester, who failed to score in a league game for the first time this season.
Elsewhere on Saturday Salomon Rondon netted an impressive brace for Newcastle United as they claimed consecutive wins in the Premier League for the first time since April to move a point clear of the bottom three with a 2-1 win over Bournemouth.
Newcastle, full of confidence following their previous victory over Watford, got off to the perfect start when Rondon opened the scoring after just seven minutes following fine build-up work from DeAndre Yedlin.
Bournemouth’s Adam Smith suffered what appeared a serious injury and play had to be suspended for eight minutes while he received treatment before being carried off with suspected knee ligament damage.
Rondon grabbed his second five minutes before the break when he met Kenedy’s cross and directed a powerful header past Asmir Begovic.
Bournemouth refused to lie down and made the most of eight added minutes at the end of the first half when Jefferson Lerma headed home a cross from Ryan Fraser to net his first goal for the club.
Eddie Howe’s side were unfortunate not to come away with a point in the second half as Jordan Ibe fired over when clean through on goal and Dan Gosling’s 84th minute effort was ruled out for offside.
A late strike from Jose Holebas earned Watford a 1-1 draw at a rain-soaked Southampton on Saturday and extended the home side’s winless run to eight Premier games while increasing the pressure on manager Mark Hughes.
Manolo Gabbiadini gave the Saints the lead with a smart turn and finish in the 20th minute, profiting from good work by Danny Ings, who picked Roberto Pereyra’s pocket inside the penalty area and played in his fellow striker following a corner.
The goal was the Italian’s first of the season but Holebas equalised in the 82nd to deny the Saints a much-needed victory and leave them one place above the relegation zone by virtue of goal difference ahead of the international break.
The ball broke to Watford’s Greek defender just outside the Southampton area after bouncing off Gerard Deulofeu and he advanced into the box before unleashing a left-foot strike that took a deflection before flying past keeper Alex McCarthy.
Watford also had a reasonable penalty appeal turned down by referee Simon Hooper just before the hour when Nathaniel Chalobah went down in the box, while at the other end substitute Charlie Austin had a goal controversially ruled out for offside.
The draw lifted Watford into provisional seventh place with 20 points from 12 games above Manchester United, who face Manchester City in Sunday’s derby clash, on goal difference while Southampton have eight points.
Huddersfield Town meanwhile missed a chance to climb out of the Premier League relegation zone when they were held to a 1-1 home draw by West Ham United in an entertaining clash.
The result left Huddersfield in 19th position on seven points from 12 games, one behind Cardiff City and 17th-placed Crystal Palace, who were at home to Tottenham Hotspur in the day’s 1730 GMT fixture.
Alex Pritchard gave Huddersfield a sixth-minute lead with a scuffed shot from 16 metres which somehow trickled past West Ham keeper Lukasz Fabianski before Felipe Anderson levelled with an opportunist 74th-minute goal.
The match got off to a flying start as Fabianski kept out a Steve Mounie header and Marko Arnautovic missed a gilt-edged chance at the other end before Pritchard took advantage of a defensive error to delight the home fans.
West Ham were fortunate not to fall two goals behind in the first half as Philip Billing’s swerving cross-turned-shot came off the inside of the post and Mounie forced another good save from the busy Fabianski.
West Ham dominated after the break and almost turned the match on its head after the equaliser, when Issa Diop saw his thumping header cleared off the line by Aaron Mooy.