Leicester denied top half place by linesman’s flag

Leicester City 1:1 AFC Bournemouth

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City rounded off their season as Champions with a 1-1 draw with Bournemouth at the KPS on Sunday, but they were robbed of a top half finish after Vardy was ruled offside for what should have been the winning goal…

Craig Shakespeare, in what could be his final game in charge, made two changes to his side, bringing in King and Slimani for Amartey and Okazaki.
But City, wearing next season’s kit, were caught napping in the first minute.
As Bournemouth broke upfield, Mousset got past Simpson and Fuchs down the left touchline, Fraser ran on to the loose ball and was upended by Simpson but the ref waved play on. Mousset was following up for a shot which was blocked by Chilwell, but Stanislas was following up to find the net.
This early setback rocked City and another Bournemouth cross zipped across the face of goal with no takers.
City created their first chance in the 9th minute. From a Fuchs long throw Mahrez attempted a spectacular overhead kick. It was headed clear as far as Chilwell, whose first time effort went well off target.

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Bournemouth almost went further ahead in the 25th minute, but Schmeichel tipped away a well-struck 22 yarder at full stretch.
City were struggling to get their game together, and didn’t really threaten the Cherries until late in the half.
Vardy sent Mahrez into the area but he was well tackled by Daniels when poised to strike. From the resulting corner Ndidi sent his header straight at Allsop, who gathered at the second attempt.

City got their act together in the second half, and levelled in the 51st minute.
Chilwell swung in a cross from the left, which Slimani nodded back across goal where Vardy was lurking unmarked to prod him his 13th goal of the season from two yards.

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Soon after this equaliser Benalouane was lucky not to see a second yellow card after a foul on Fraser, and he was replaced by Amartey.
A minute after this change Vardy appeared to have given City the lead after slicing through the Cherries defence, setting up Slimani, whose shot deflected back for him to net. The linesman halted the celebrations flagging for offside, but replays clearly showed Vardy to be level with his marker.
Vardy had a couple of chances after that, but Allsop denied him, while Slimani sent a volley off target.
Gray replaced Albrighton in the 73rd minute and the winger was given a standing ovation as he left the field, in acknowlegement of his unstinting effort this season.
City pressed forward in search of the winner that would give them a top half finish. Ndidi flashed a long range shot narrowly wide, and Chilwell sliced an effort wide of the near post. The best chance fell for Slimani, in the 85th minute when he rose at the far post to meet a Mahrez free-kick, but his header across goal went inches wide of the right hand upright.

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City had to be content with a point and a 12th place finish which, coupled with a Champions League quarter-final place, had to represent a very satisfactory season for a side that had been involved in the relegation scrap for a few months.
For Marcin Wasilewski it was definitely goodbye, and he was given a great send off by the crowd. How many others will follow him out of the door, only time will tell.
Craig Shakespeare didn’t seem to know what the future held for him:  “I’ve read the owner’s programme notes and we’ll sit down – there’s no given time. It is the end of the season and I will wait for that meeting. Of course they have made their decisions for the good of the club and for the future of the club. We’ll sit down and I’ll wait for those discussions.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Benalouane (Amartey 59), Fuchs, Chilwell, Mahrez, King, Ndidi, Albrighton (Gray 73), Vardy, Slimani. Subs Not Used: Musa, Kapustka, Okazaki, Zieler, Wasilewski.
Bournemouth: Allsop, Smith, Francis, Cook, Daniels, Stanislas, Gosling, Surman, Pugh (Ibe 63), Fraser (Worthington 74), Mousset (Afobe 62). Subs Not Used: Ramsdale, Smith, Cargill, Surridge.

Referee: L Mason. Attendance: 32,000. 

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

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