It was an afternoon with everything at the Vitality as Bournemouth ran out 4-2 victors over Leicester, handing the visitors their third defeat of the season and jumping above Puel’s team to seventh in the table in the process.
The visitors were left to rue plenty of missed opportunities and the hosts subsequently made them pay in an end-to-end fixture on the south coast.
This was a fixture which has seen five draws in the last six meetings between the two sides and Puel was obviously desperate to change this, as he started out with a more attacking line up of 4-2-3-1. Jamie Vardy, who was returning from suspension, was leading the line for the Foxes with Rachid Ghezzal making his full debut for his new side. It was a 4-4-2 formation adopted by Eddie Howe with David Brooks returning to the starting XI and King and Wilson partnering each-other up top.
Leicester started out as the fastest of the two sides with Jamie Vardy having the best chance to break the deadlock. The ball was slid through to him yet he was unable to clip the ball over the advancing Begovic, who made a good stop to deny Leicester’s number nine. Shortly after, Ryan Fraser was adamant he should have been given a penalty on 14 minutes after being clipped in the box by Ricardo Pereira. Referee Craig Pawson ruled in favour of the Leicester full-back much to the distaste of the Bournemouth player.
Six minutes later Fraser made the Foxes pay and opened the scoring. Pereira was left ultimately well out of position after an attack which left a gaping hole at the right-hand side of the Leicester defence. King picked up the ball in the centre of the field and found Fraser sprinting to his left-hand side pleading for the ball. King found Fraser who ran direct at Morgan, who then possibly gave the Scotsman too much space and consequently found the right corner of the goal, delicately placing the ball past Kasper Schmeichel who had no chance in the Leicester goal.
Bournemouth were once again left frustrated as they deemed Harry Maguire’s challenge on King worthy of a sending off. With the English centre half already on a yellow card there were rings of ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ round the Vitality when Craig Pawson only gave Maguire a warning – perhaps a final warning at that.
The Foxes were extremely unfortunate to not level the tie on the 32nd minute. Maddison broke in the middle and found Vardy who’s first-time shot was saved well by Begovic; Maddison found the rebound and his shot was saved well by the Bournemouth shot stopped onto the bar. With Leicester unable to take their chances, Eddie Howe’s side quickly made the Foxes pay. Once again City’s defensive line were extremely sloppy and lacking composure which allowed Wilson to find Fraser once more running in and he willingly slotted the ball past Schmeichel.
An awful afternoon for Puel quickly became agonising as Craig Pawson pointed to the spot after a deliberate handball by Pereira. Josh King happily took the ball and sent Schmeichel the wrong way to put the hosts three goals to the good. Perhaps unfair on the Foxes who themselves had good chances, the best of those falling to Jamie Vardy and Maddison who couldn’t make the Cherries pay.
Claude Puel, strangely, made no changes to his side after the break but on 60 minutes he had seen enough and resorted to Iheanacho and Albrighton who replaced Demari Gray and Rachid Ghazzel; both wingers not having the best of days on the south coast.
It all went from bad to worse on 68 minutes as Wes Morgan received a second yellow card after two feisty lunges for the ball midway in the Bournemouth half. The second one on Smith caught the Bournemouth defender and Craig Pawson gave Morgan his marching orders much to the disagreement of the Leicester skipper.
Adam Smith put the final nail in the coffin for the Foxes as he was teed up by Fraser; finding himself in acres of space, slotting his shot past Schmeichel who looked dumbfounded at the Cherries scoring their fourth of the afternoon.
Amazingly the Foxes did score two goals in the last eight minutes of the match with Maddison finding the back of the net from a penalty and Albrighton tidily glancing home a header after a quality ball in from Iheanacho. 4-2 it ended at the Vitality, which was an exciting difference from the 1-1 or 0-0 draw usually played out between the two sides.
Josh King and Callum Wilson’s glistening partnership
Josh King and Callum Wilson are significant to this Bournemouth side and ran rings around Morgan and Maguire all afternoon. Their endless running and buzzing around the Leicester centre halves resulted in one of Morgan’s yellow cards which became two in the second half. The forwards both know their roles in this Bournemouth side and also are happy to play their part for the team, with both men taking turns to defend and run back and harass the Leicester midfield and defence.
Maddison excels once more for Leicester
Although it was a disappointing afternoon for Leicester, Maddison once again ran the show in terms of their efforts and like the Liverpool fixture he showed glimpses of form which if continues will likely earn him an England call-up. The midfielder is quick on his feet and finds joy when he picks up the ball and runs at defenders, he was fouled on several occasions at the Vitality and two of Bournemouth’s yellow cards were a result of a foul on the 21-year-old. Certainly one for the future and fundamental to Puel’s side this year.
Pressure on Puel
Puel will certainly start to feel the pressure now with an embarrassing defeat for his side. He was favourite for the sack at the start of the season and although his side have put up good performances against Liverpool and Manchester United as well as picking up victories against Southampton and Wolves, he has continuously been mentioned in discussions around managerial sackings. His team face Huddersfield at home next weekend and this is certainly a must-win for his Foxes side.
Man of the Match: Ryan Fraser
The Scotsman took his goal tally to three for the season after his brace this afternoon. He understands his fellow players and linked up well with King and Wilson all afternoon. He showed great control and agility in scoring two goals and also assisted the fourth to round off a brilliant afternoon for his side.