Jamie Vardy set a new Premier League record for scoring in consecutive matches, but Leicester City had to settle for a draw at home to Manchester United.
Vardy became the first player to score in 11 straight Premier League matches -- beating Van Nistelrooy's record from 2003 -- when he stroked home a slide-rule pass from Christian Fuchs.
But the Foxes were pegged back when Bastian Schweinsteiger headed home an equaliser in first-half injury time.
The draw meant Leicester were unable to reclaim top spot, but Ranieri was not disheartened.
Although his side failed to grab all three points, the performance showed they are capable of maintaining their challenge towards the top of the table.
It probably put one or two million pounds more on Vardy's value, too. In front of England manager Roy Hodgson, he was excellent again.
Hodgson's captain Wayne Rooney, on the other hand, was substituted in the 68th minute after a poor display.
He was not the only struggling performer in red. United lacked pace, energy and ideas and, although they improved in the second half, they could consider themselves lucky to escape with a point.
Vardy hunted every red shirt he saw from the first whistle.
Michael Carrick carelessly passed the ball to him deep inside the Leicester half, but when he squared to Ngolo Kante his deflected shot flew wide.
United's defence was creaking and Ashley Young entered the book for a cynical foul that prevented the vibrant Riyad Mahrez from breaking away.
Mahrez was fouled three times in the opening half as United simply could not deal with the winger's pace.
The visitors, in contrast, offered little. Rooney had two tame attempts at goal and that was it in the opening stages.
Leicester were well on top and it came as no surprise when they scored. The name of the goalscorer was just as unsurprising.
As soon as Vardy lost Young and raced on to Fuchs' pass, there was only ever going to be one outcome.
The 28-year-old kept his composure and struck the ball confidently past David de Gea before being mobbed by his team-mates. It was nothing more than Leicester deserved.
Leicester fans taunted the travelling support, singing: "Louis van Gaal, he sends you to sleep.''
The United supporters would have been forgiven for nodding off - but, all of a sudden, United were level.
Danny Drinkwater gave away a corner and Daley Blind whipped in a cross which Schweinsteiger nodded in.
The German almost put United ahead after the break with another close-range header, but Kasper Schmeichel saved.
With Vardy tiring, Leicester were unable to maintain the momentum they had before the break.
They still looked the more threatening side, however. Kante broke and found substitute Leonardo Ulloa, but De Gea saved to keep United in it.
Then, with 22 minutes left Van Gaal put Rooney out of his misery and replaced him with Memphis Depay.
The Dutchman had a great chance to nick it at the death, but blazed over.