AFC Bournemouth 1:1 Leicester City
City bounced back from a poor first half performance at Bournemouth to retain their unbeaten record with a late Jamie Vardy penalty…
Claudio Ranieri made one change to his side with Kanté starting in midfield, Okazaki dropped to the bench, and Vardy ploughing a lone furrow up front.
Former-Fox Max Gradel earned himself a booking for flattening Mahrez within 20 seconds of the kick-off, and Mahrez went on to have a very quiet 45 minutes.
Although City had the first chance when Vardy curled an effort just over the bar, the Cherries dominated the rest of the half.
The home side went ahead in the 24th minute. Daniels’ cross from the right was headed off the back of Huth by Gradel and it sat up nicely for Wilson to execute a perfect overhead kick into the top left hand corner.
Matters could have got worse for City just before the break when Tomlin was fouled by Kanté on the edge of the 18 yard box. Fortunately the ref awarded Bournemouth a free-kick rather than a penalty, and Schmeichel saved Gradel’s effort.
For all the Bournemouth possession and pressure City were still in the game at the break.
Okazaki replaced the struggling Mahrez for a second half that saw a greatly improved City performance.
The ref had his work cut out as the match got more physical. Huth was lucky to see only a yellow after kicking the ball at the grounded Wilson before clashing with Mings. Soon after that there was a long delay as half time sub Mings 11 minute appearance was ended when he was stretchered off after a coming together with Drinkwater.
In a scrappy encounter lacking in quality Gradel then had to go off injured as City began to take control of the game. Schlupp, who was now having a blinder down the left, beat his marker and tested Boruc with a fierce effort.
League Cup hero Dodoo replaced Albrighton for the final 20 minutes, though he could only produce a snatched airshot when presented with a decent chance.
City’s breakthrough finally arrived in the 86th minute, when Vardy went on a charge into the Bournemouth penalty area. Cook clumsily upended him for an obvious penalty, and the England striker blasted home the spot-kick, although Boruc got a hand to it.
The final drama of the game came 6 minutes into time added on when late sub Benalouane nudged Pugh over on the edge of the area, but Francis’ free-kick was off-target.
After a poor first half City had done well to rescue a point and retain their unbeaten record going into the first international break.
Ranieri declared: “Jamie is Jamie and I love him. Even when he is dead he wants to fight, which is fantastic… We are learning to be an orchestra because I have been working with them just one month. It is more difficult for me to make an orchestra, but it is important to take a point and after that we have time to make some good songs.”
Bournemouth: Boruc, Francis, Cook, Elphick, Surman, Gradel (Pugh 67), Daniels (Mings 46 (Smith 57)), Wilson, Tomlin, Ritchie, O’Kane. Subs Not Used: Federici, MacDonald, Kermorgant, Distin.
Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet (Benalouane 90), Drinkwater, Morgan, Huth, Vardy, King, Albrighton (Dodoo 71), Kanté, Schlupp, Mahrez (Okazaki 46). Subs Not Used: Schwarzer, Ulloa, Fuchs, Benalouane, Inler.
Referee: N Swarbrick Attendance: 11,102.
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