TEN-MAN Saints produced a resolute display to grind out an impressive point against in-form Leicester City with a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s.

The writing appeared to be on the wall for the hosts as early as the 10th minute, when Jannik Vestergaard was given his marching orders for a foul on Jamie Vardy.

However, Saints dug in commendably and even took the lead early in the second half as James Ward-Prowse fired home from the penalty spot.

But Leicester’s extra man did eventually tell as they earned a share of the spoils thanks to a Jonny Evans header.

The draw sees Saints move up a spot to 14th in the table, now 10 points clear of the relegation zone with five games to play.

Ralph Hasenhuttl made three changes to his side which lost at Tottenham last time out.

Jack Stephens came in for his first start since March 10, replacing Mohammed Salisu at left-back. Elsewhere, the injured Danny Ings missed out on the squad, while Theo Walcott dropped to the bench. In came Takumi Minamino and Nathan Redmond.

Leicester, making their first trip to St Mary’s since winning 9-0 in the corresponding fixture last season, named an unchanged XI for the third match in succession as they looked to strengthen their grip on a Champions League spot.

Saints, who lost to the Foxes in the FA Cup semi-finals just 12 days previously, got off to a good start, finding the net inside three minutes.

Vestergaard pinged a superb long pass to Kyle Walker-Peters, who finished well one-on-one, but he had just strayed into an offside position.

Saints soon carved out another good chance. Minamino did well to win the ball back high up the pitch, before Che Adams picked up the loose ball and teed up Nathan Tella on the edge of the box, but the youngster scuffed his shot allowing Kasper Schmeichel to comfortably save.

Then, disaster struck.

Seemingly in little danger, Vestergaard slipped on the edge of the box allowing Vardy in to pounce. The Dane slid in to retrieve possession, but caught the striker on the ankle on the follow-through and was shown a straight red card by referee Robert Jones, leaving Saints down to 10 men with barely 10 minutes on the clock.

James Maddison curled the resulting free-kick narrowly wide, before Hasenhuttl turned to his bench to introduce Salisu, sacrificing Tella.

Despite being a man light, Saints were next to threaten. Walker-Peters made a strong break from the right before picking out Redmond, who cut infield and slammed goalwards, with his effort beaten away by Schmeichel.

That proved to be one of the final times Saints crossed into the Leicester half for the remainder of the first period as the Foxes dominated possession.

However, Saints stayed resolute, with goalkeeper Alex McCarthy untroubled other than speculative Kelechi Iheanacho and Maddison efforts.

That was until the half entered its final 10 minutes, as Leicester turned the screw around the box. Neat play on the right saw Youri Tielemans burst into the box, but his shot across goal was thwarted by the legs of McCarthy as the two sides went in at the break level.

Looking to press home their advantage, the Foxes added an extra striker to their side at the break, with Ayoze Perez replacing defender Wesley Fofana.

But it would be Saints to break the deadlock. After winning a free-kick on the byline, Ward-Prowse the set piece to the edge of the box for Armstrong, whose goalbound effort struck the outstretched, raised arm of Iheanacho. After big appeals from the bench, a penalty was awarded, allowing Ward-Prowse to step up and confidently bury the spot-kick into the bottom corner, despite Schmeichel diving the right way.

Leicester looked for a swift response, with McCarthy denying both Maddison and Perez.

And their pressure told midway through the second period. Iheanacho made up for his handball at the other end, crossing for Evans, who ghosted in between Jan Bednarek and Stephens to nod Leicester level.

Leicester piled on the pressure in the closing stages.

Vardy was denied by a brave McCarthy stop before Wilfred Ndidi fired wide and McCarthy then inadvertently turned a cross wide of his own post as Saints held on for a point.

Saints: McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Vestergaard, Stephens; Ward-Prowse, Armstrong; Minamino (Diallo, 76), Tella (Salisu, 15); Redmond, Adams (N'Lundulu, 90+1).

Unused subs: Ramsay, Ferry, Jankewitz, Djenepo, Walcott, Forster (g/k).

Booked: Minamino.

Sent off: Vestergaard.

Leicester: Schmeichel; Fofana (Perez, h-t), Evans, Soyuncu; Castagne, Tielemans, Ndidi, Maddison, Thomas (Albrighton, 69); Iheanacho, Vardy.

Unused subs: Amartey, Pereira, Praet, Under, Choudhury, Mendy, Ward (g/k).

Booked: None.

Sent off: None.

Referee: Robert Jones.

VAR: Jonathan Moss.