Leicester City 0:0 AFC Bournemouth
City drew 0-0 with Bournemouth on a frustrating afternoon at the KPS, but reached Claudio Ranieri’s target of 40 points…
Ranieri made one change to his side with Ulloa partnering Vardy up front and Inler making way.
After some early Bournemouth pressure, Mahrez attempted what would have been goal of the season as he got onto the end of an Albrighton cross with an acrobatic overhead kick that went a yard over the bar.
The Cherries went even closer at the other end when Stanislas retrieved a ball from the bye-line that Simpson had given up on. King headed his cutback across goal and was inches wide of the far post.
The 26th minute brought a golden chance for City when a shot from Ulloa was blocked and fell for Vardy yards out. Perhaps conscious of the onrushing Boruc, the normally lethal Vardy sent his shot against the inside of the left hand post.
Chances came and went for both sides up to the break: Ulloa sent a header from a Mahrez cross wide, while Stanislas and Gosling both missed the target when well placed.
Vardy then fired the last chance of the half across goal and the sides went in goalless at the break after an even contest.
City, with Dyer on for Ulloa, were on top in the second half but couldn’t penetrate a well organised Bournemouth side on a day when the ball just wouldn’t run for them.
Five minutes after the break Vardy burst through but got the ball caught up in his feet, still recovering to force a fine save from Boruc low to his left.
Morgan then ghosted in at the far post at a Mahrez corner but side-footed his effort over the bar.
City’s chance to go ahead appeared to have come just before the hour when Drinkwater sent Vardy through, he appeared to have outpaced the defence but Francis managed to get in a challenge which sent the England man flying. Referee Marriner pointed to the spot and Francis was dismissed, which subsequently looked harsh on a second viewing.
Mahrez then squandered the chance, seeming to confuse himself with his stuttering run up more than Boruc, who pulled off a fine save to his left.
Okazaki and De Laet were both introduced into the action in the closing stages, but City couldn’t find a way through Eddie Howe’s side.
Kanté, Okazaki and Drinkwater all fired off-target shots, while Vardy’s subtle glancing header went agonisingly close.
Late on, Vardy was tripped by Gosling for a claim that was stronger than the penalty City were awarded, but Marriner decided on a goal kick and City had to settle for their 40th point of the season.
Claudio Ranieri rewarded his players for reaching that goal: “A draw is not OK as it is only one point, but it is OK as we have 40 points which was the goal — it is champagne for my players!”
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson (De Laet 74), Huth, Morgan, Fuchs, Kanté, Drinkwater, Mahrez, Albrighton (Okazaki 65), Ulloa (Dyer 46), Vardy. Subs Not Used: King, Wasilewski, Schwarzer, Inler.
Bournemouth: Boruc, Francis, Cook, Gosling, Surman, Arter (Distin 60), Daniels, Smith, King (Murray 51), Stanislas, Ritchie. Subs Not Used: Federici, Pugh, Rantie, MacDonald, Tomlin.
Referee: A Marriner. Attendance: 32,006.
ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber
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Featuring: The record breaking Jamie Vardy; an interview with former-City striker Kevin Phillips; Fully Programmed from Christmas 1984; Fox Diary with hardly a defeat in sight; the latest from the Foxes Trust; What’s happening on #lcfc Twitter, starring Christian Fuchs; Rewind goes back to Wembley 1996; Foxed in the Head – travels to Newcastle and recalls the time when we had to sell our best players; Simon Kimber is our guest columnist; John Hutchinson continues his series on City and World War II; our new series The History of Leicester City in 100 Objects begins; your letters and Bentley’s Roof; Parting Shots our favourite photos of the last month; and 40Something turns 50Something…
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