SAINTS were twice pegged back by battling Leicester City as the spoils were shared in an entertaining 2-2 draw at St Mary’s.

Saints got their noses in front in just the third minute through Jan Bednarek, before Jonny Evans levelled.

But the hosts were back in front by half-time thanks to a header from Leicester-born striker Che Adams.

The start of the second period was delayed due to a medical emergency in the Kingsland Stand. After the half-time break was extended by 15 minutes to allow the supporter to be treated and taken from the stands, play resumed.

James Maddison equalised early in the second period with a fine solo effort and despite both managers making attacking changes, neither team could force a winning goal.

Ralph Hasenhuttl made three changes from the side which lost 4-0 at Liverpool on Saturday. Kyle Walker-Peters, Nathan Redmond and Nathan Tella came in with Lyanco, Romain Perraud and Armando Broja dropping to the bench. It was just Tella’s second Premier League start of the campaign, the first in almost two months.

Leicester remained unchanged from their 4-2 weekend win over Watford. Former Saint Jannik Vestergaard was named among the substitutes.

And it was Vestergaard’s former centre-back partner who broke the deadlock as Saints got off to a dream start.

After Mohammed Salisu had already seen a header held by Kasper Schmeichel following a neat set-piece routine, Saints broke the deadlock in the third minute.

A short corner was taken to Tella, who crossed low for Salisu. The Ghanaian’s shot was well saved by Schmeichel, but Bednarek was on hand to stab home from close range, his first goal in just over a year.

But back came the visitors. After Wilfred Ndidi had fired just wide from an offside position, the midfielder played a key role in the Foxes pulling level. Maddison beat Walker-Peters before crossing into the box. Salisu’s clearance only reached Ademola Lookman, who teed up Ndidi. His low shot was shovelled away by Alex McCarthy, into the path of Evans to slam home.

It was the centre-back’s first goal since netting in this fixture last season.

Saints looked for an instant response, Walker-Peters curling wide before Adams saw a low shot comfortably stopped by Schmeichel.

However, the striker was not to be denied for much longer. Again a set piece caused problems, this time from a second phase. Redmond’s exquisite cross found an unmarked Adams into the centre, who guided his header in the bottom corner to notch his fourth goal in six club games.

The start of the second half was delayed by 15 minutes due to a medical emergency in the crowd.

And when the game resumed, Saints missed a glorious opportunity to double their lead.

James Ward-Prowse pressed high from a Schmeichel goal kick and won the ball before crossing for Tella. The forward was free at the back post, but got his header all wrong, heading well off target.

And that miss was instantly punished. Half-time substitute Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and young left-back Luke Thomas were involved, before Maddison took over. The talented playmaker cut inside Tino Livramento in the box before firing low and hard past the foot of McCarthy at his near post.

Both managers turned to their benches just past the hour mark with Ayoze Perez and Broja introduced.

And it was Leicester who carved out the next big chance to swing the game in their favour. After Walker-Peters lost possession on halfway, the Foxes broke forward. Harvey Barnes burst through into the box, but was denied one-on-one by a brilliant diving McCarthy stop.

Then, shortly after substitute Mohamed Elyounoussi had fired wide for Saints, Jamie Vardy inexplicably fired over the crossbar after a loose pass from Walker-Peters.

Hasenhuttl was forced into his final change with five minutes to play, Lyanco replacing the injured Bednarek.

McCarthy was called into one late stop, tipping away a Perez effort to secure the point.

Saints: McCarthy; Livramento, Bednarek (Lyanco, 85), Salisu, Walker-Peters; Ward-Prowse, Romeu; Redmond, Tella (Broja, 65); Adams, A Armstrong (Elyounoussi, 74).

Unused subs: Valery, Perraud, Smallbone, Djenepo, Long, Forster (g/k).

Booked: Romeu.

Leicester: Schmeichel; Castagne, Evans, Soyuncu, Thomas; Soumare (Dewsbury-Hall, h-t), Ndidi; Lookman (Perez, 61), Maddison, Barnes (Daka, 75), Vardy.

Unused subs: Amartey, Vestergaard, Choudhury, Albrighton, Iheanacho, Ward (g/k).

Booked: Lookman, Ndidi, Dewsbury-Hall.

Referee: Robert Jones.

VAR: Andy Madley.

Attendance: 26,951.