A 97th minute stunner from Riyad Mahrez salvaged a point for Leicester City from a courageous Bournemouth side who arguably deserved to take home all three points to the South coast.
A dire first half performance from Puel’s men ended with Bournemouth one ahead after Josh King’s 35th minute penalty separated the two sides. After a subdued start to the game there was little to shout about at an arctic King Power, the most activity happening on the 20th minute when Daniel Amartey clutched his hamstring and exited the game. This was an extremely disappointing end to the Ghanaians first Premier League start since the away trip to Everton and even more disheartening as he was selected over Englishman Danny Simpson, who was not even in the match day squad as Puel states the competition between them is heating up.
With Amartey’s exile, he was replaced with Ben Chilwell which forced Puel to change his formation and the change of organisation for Leicester disrupted them for sure. Bournemouth begun getting behind Leicester and found joy down their left-hand side. Stanislas and King squandered two great chances drawing easy saves from Schmeichel.
It was on the 35th minute when Albrighton stabbed his foot at the ball to take the pressure of his Leicester defence that he found the back of Josh King’s standing foot to take the Norwegian down. Referee Lee Probert correctly pointed to the spot and King calmly slotted the ball past the Dane in the Leicester goal. The half fizzled out with few chances and the two sides walked off to an echo of boo’s round the King Power with Leicester fans clearly unimpressed with their sides first half performance.
It was a defiant second half from Howe’s men who faced 14 Leicester attempts at their goal and stood strong until almost the last kick of the game. Iheanacho was introduced on the hour mark and it was on the hour mark when Leicester had their best chance of the second half. With the ball falling to Chilwell on the edge of the area he side-footed a curling ball which was heading for the top corner, yet it was Steve Cook who pulled of an impressive piece of defending to get his head on the ball and put it behind for a corner.
The next chance fell for Morgan who met Mahrez’s cross only to put his header over from 3 yards out. The pressure started to build on the cherries and it was almost a case of when, not if Leicester would score. Iheanacho had a golden chance as he flicked Maguire’s shot towards goal, only for it to creep inches wide. It was looking to be a frustrating afternoon for the foxes as they could not find the back of the net. Although this was partly credit to the Bournemouth defence, Leicester did not put together a golden chance and a lot of their opportunities came from scrambles in the area and blocked attempts from outside the area. After Howe’s men dug in and had their backs to the wall it was a challenge on Iheanacho which gave Leicester their last chance of the match. Riyad Mahrez stood over the ball 25 yards out and delightfully curled the ball low beyond the wall and past Asmir Begovic who will understandably be gutted with the end result.
MOTM – Wilfred Ndidi – The youngster was all over the park and stopped Bournemouth constantly in their attempt to break up the field. He was everywhere and the only Leicester player who had showed urgency throughout.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Amartey (Chilwell, 20), Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs (Diabate, 79), James, Ndidi, Silva (Iheanacho, 60), Mahrez, Vardy, Albrighton. Unused subs: Gray, Dragovic, Hamer, Iborra.
Bournemouth: Begovic, Francis, Cook, Ake, Smith, Cook, Gosling, Daniels, King (Mousset, 91), Wilson (Surman, 77), Stanislas. Unused subs: Fraser, Taylor, Defoe, Simpson, Boruc.