Leicester City continued their pre-season preparations with a draw, failing to find a way past Rotherham United at the New York Stadium in one of two friendlies on Saturday.
Brendan Rodgers took his strongest XI to the Bet365 Stadium to take on Stoke City, while assistant Chris Davies lead a weakened-yet-still strong line-up for a clash with the League One Millers.
The Foxes were forced to battle their opponents and the conditions in South Yorkshire where the heavens opened to bring to an end the gorgeous spell of whether we’ve enjoyed in the last week.
And Saturday also saw City’s pre-season run of wins come to an end as the Foxes failed to overcome their League One opponents at the New York Stadium.
That was despite Kelechi Iheanacho’s best efforts, the Nigerian scoring twice to make it three goals in two games.
Though, on both occasions, Rotherham fought their way back to ensure City slipped up for the first time this summer.
It took 12 minutes for the first chance of note at the New York Stadium following a quiet start, but when that opportunity did arrive, City took full advantage.
Harvey Barnes robbed Matt Olosunde of the ball before sliding it through to Iheanacho down the left-hand side of the box.
And the Nigerian slotted the ball across the keeper and into the Millers net with composure far greater than a striker who only scored his first goal since September earlier this week.
Though, he looked more like his recent self minutes later when he couldn’t beat on loan City keeper Daniel Iversen in the Rotherham goal from close range following a neat exchange with Andy King.
Iheanacho will have been impressed by his former teammates save and he will have been feeling the same just a couple of minutes later when he tried to chest home Harvey Barnes’ cross from just a couple of yards out.
Iversen somehow managed to keep it out with a trailing leg, leaving Iheanacho on his knees, shaking his head in disbelief.
A lull followed but gradually, Rotherham began to take the ascendancy.
In truth, the Millers seldom looked threatening, despite seeing a lot of the ball.
At least until Kyle Vassell turned on the magic, pulling off some brilliant footwork before playing in Carlton Morris, and the Norwich loanee rolled the ball past Danny Ward after evading the Foxes back-line.
City clicked back into hear before the break having given up their one-goal lead, and they might have reclaimed their advantage, had it not been for one of their own, Daniel Iversen thwarting Harvey Barnes twice in quick succession despite being left stranded by his defensive teammates.
The second half begun with disappointment for the Foxes. Just three minutes in, Papy Mendy, who has been excellent throughout pre-season, was forced off with an injury. Daniel Amartey came on in his place.
City did manage to shake off the disappointment, though, with Harvey Barnes forcing Daniel Iversen into a save with an effort from the edge of the box.
Rotherham United’s Carlton Morris equalises during the pre-season friendly match against Leicester City (Image: Richard Sellers/PA Wire)
And then Daniel Iversen was taken off to give Lewis Price a runout in goal, a sight for sore eyes for City following the Foxes youngster’s first-half display.
City failed to take advantage for some time after Iversen’s exit as conditions worsened in Yorkshire.
But they got there in the end, Iheanacho scoring his second of the game and his third in two, rounding substitute goalkeeper Lewis Price before recovering from a brief loss of balance and finding the net.
Having seen his first goal cancelled out in the first half, Iheanacho must have thought he’d done enough to hand City the win with his second of the afternoon, but it wasn’t to be.
Michael Ihiekwe levelled for the hosts when Ben Wikes’ free-kick from range was poorly dealt with.
It meant City lost their 100% pre-season record, but even so, assistant Davies will have been encouraged by this display which, if it hadn’t been for a City player in Iversen, would have been enough to secure a comfortable win.