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English Premier League 2015-16

Leicester dealt huge title blow as star striker Jamie Vardy is charged by FA over red card reaction

England forward faces having his one-match ban lengthened, potentially ruling the striker out of more of Leicester’s title run-in

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 April, 2016, 9:51am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 April, 2016, 11:28am

Jamie Vardy faces having his mandatory one-match ban lengthened, potentially ruling the striker out of more of Leicester’s title run-in, after he was charged on Monday by the English Football Association over his angry reaction to a red card.

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

Leicester might now have to cope in the games against Swansea and Manchester United without Vardy, who is the league’s second highest scorer behind Tottenham forward Harry Kane.

Vardy was sent off during Sunday’s draw with West Ham after being booked twice, the second time for diving in the penalty area after tangling with Angelo Ogbonna.

Vardy confronted referee Jon Moss, jabbing a finger at the match official while appearing to express his anger at receiving his first red card of the season.

The FA’s improper conduct charge means Vardy is likely to miss at least two of Leicester’s last four league games if he is found guilty.

Vardy had netted his 22nd goal of the campaign in the first half to put Leicester in front before being dismissed 11 minutes into the second half.

Leicester have also been charged by the FA with failing to control their players over the reaction to a penalty being awarded in the 84th minute, which led to Andy Carroll levelling the score at 1-1.

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Although Aaron Cresswell put West Ham in front, Leicester equalised deep in stoppage time when they were awarded a soft penalty that substitute Leonardo Ulloa converted.

Leicester, who are chasing their first-ever top flight title, and Vardy have until Thursday afternoon to respond to the FA charges.

There was a further setback for the club later on Monday, when Tottenham beat Stoke 4-0 to trim Leicester’s lead to five points.

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri now has to consider how to reconfigure the team without Vardy.

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One option is to partner Shinji Okazaki with Ulloa if Ranieri sticks with his favoured 4-4-2 formation. Okazaki has netted only six goals this season, while Ulloa’s penalty took his tally to four.

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