Premier League leader Leicester and reigning champion Chelsea needed winning goals in the 89th minute Saturday to keep on track their respective campaigns for the English title and European soccer next season.
Leicester City win at 89th minute, hold the No.1
Sunday, 28 February 2016 18:10
Skeptics have been waiting since late last year for the bubble to burst in Leicester's sensational season. Bottom of the standings at Christmas in 2014 and top of them at Christmas in 2015, the Midlands club was widely expected to drop points as the season wore on.
Two weeks after a 2-1 loss to Arsenal that ended a run of three consecutive wins, Leicester's title hopes looked set to take another knock at King Power Stadium.
Leicester forwards Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have scored more league goals than the entire Norwich team put together, with 33 to 30. But they were kept in check as Norwich played Leicester at its own game, sitting deep, and then looking to hit the opposition on the break.
The tactic worked, at least until Ulloa's close-range strike put Claudio Ranieri's side firmly back in the Premier League driving seat.
"You cannot always play well, it's not important to play well or not, it's important to take points," Ranieri said.
"We wanted to restart. We believe in ourselves, we believe until the end that it's important to fight. We lost a match in the last second against Arsenal, and today we won in the last minute. That's football."
His team has five more points than its nearest rivals — Arsenal and Tottenham, who play on Sunday. Arsenal is away to Manchester United, while Spurs are at home to Swansea.
Meanwhile, Chelsea's revival under interim manager Guus Hiddink grows more impressive by the week.
"The Chelsea we want to see is one which reacts to setbacks," Hiddink said.
"We like to be proactive also, and this is what the team did, regaining possession as soon as possible and showing a huge desire to turn a negative result into a positive one. We emphasized that and the players responded."