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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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Leicester take a step backward at Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth 1:0 Leicester City

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Leicester failed to build on Saturday’s win over Manchester City, losing 1-0 at Bournemouth on Tuesday night…

Claudio Ranieri made one change to his side, with Hernández in for the suspended Simpson, but they produced an unrecognisible perfomance from Saturday.
Bournemouth had all the early possession, with City happy to sit back and let them have it.
The Cherries first chance arrived when Francis beat Hernández and Mahrez with ease down the left and flashed a ball across the goalmouth, which just eluded two red shirts.
City’s first chance came soon after that when Mahrez sent Vardy through on goal, but Boruc came racing out to block.
Slimani then wasted a decent chance before the game settled into a midfield battle with virtually no action near either goal, before Zieler saved a long range  Wilshere effort.
City applied some pressure around the half hour mark, with a series of corners and long throws from Fuchs and  Hernández, but the Bournemouth defence were dominant in the air. A fierce Huth shot blocked by Ake was the closest they got to goal.
This led to the only goal of the game in the 34th minute, as the home side finally broke upfield. Although Zieler made a fine save from an Afobe shot, Pugh was following up to blast the rebound home.

The second half saw an improved performance for City, with Okazaki on for Slimani, but they couldn’t find a way through a determined Bournemouth defence.
Headers from King and Huth missed the target, as did an Okazaki shot on the run.
Okazaki then burst through the Cherries back-line down the right but Cook got in a fine last ditch block on the Japan international’s shot.

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The best opportunity for City to get an equaliser came late on, when a Vardy cutback from the right saw substitute Ulloa shooting from six yards, but Boruc produced a fine save to protect Bournmouth’s three points.

Claudio Ranieri claimed not to be too disappointed with the performance: “The result is too severe against us because we created more chances than Bournemouth but they won so well done to them. I wanted a little more in the first half because if we had a little more we could have scored a goal. We could have recovered more second balls for this reason. The second half was much better.”
But a single point from City’s travels this season suggests that a different approach is needed for away games.

AFC Bournemouth: Boruc, Francis, Cook, Ake, Daniels, A. Smith, Arter, Wilshere, Pugh, King (Gosling 79), Afobe (Wilson 68). Subs Not Used: Federici, Mings, B. Smith, Ibe, Gradel.
Leicester: Zieler, Hernández, Morgan, Huth (Ulloa 81), Fuchs, Amartey, King, Mahrez, Albrighton (Musa 73), Slimani (Okazaki 45), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Hamer, Chilwell, Mendy, Gray.

Referee: P Tierney. Attendance: 11,068.

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Leicester draw a blank against Cherries

Leicester City 0:0 AFC Bournemouth

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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The FOX 196 – the December edition – is in the shops now…

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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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Leicester break more records at Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth 0:1 Leicester City

Marcin Wasilweski shields the ball from Tokelo Rantie

City’s 1-0 win at Bournemouth on Saturday set new records for consecutive league wins (9), consecutive away wins (5) and oldest goalscorer with Kevin Phillips grabbing an 81st minute winner…

An unchanged City side weathered some early Cherries pressure, before efforts from Dyer and Nugent were blocked and Wasilewski’s header forced Camp into a decent save.
Camp denied Dyer again, before a superb save saw Vardy’s goal-bound effort tipped onto the bar.
At the other end Grabban tested Schmeichel with a long range shot, but the sides went in goalless at the break

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Kermorgant was one of two Bournemouth subs introduced for the second half, but for once he didn’t find the net against his former side.
The first chance fell to City but Knockaert sent a free-kick narrowly over the bar.
Grabban went close for the home side, before Camp saved again from a Knockaert header.
With twenty minutes remaining Nigel Pearson began to change things round, first bringing Phillips on for Nugent and then King for James and this paid dividends in the 81st minute.

Pile up celebration following Kevin Philips winning goal after 81 minutes

A Knockaert cross from the right fell perfectly for Phillips’ head at the far post, and the ball eluded Camp to land inches behind the line before it was cleared.
Phillips’ zimmer-frame celebration reflected the fact that he had just beaten Arthur Chandler’s oldest goal-scorer record set in 1934.

More importantly it left City 10 points clear of second placed QPR, and 13 ahead of third placed Burnley…
Bournemouth: Camp, Francis, Elphick, Ward, Harte, Fraser (Ritchie 46), Arter, O’Kane, Surman (Pitman 83), Rantie (Kermorgant 46), Grabban. Subs Not Used: Allsop, Cook, Smith, MacDonald.
Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet, Morgan, Wasilewski, Konchesky, Knockaert, James (King 80), Drinkwater, Dyer, Nugent (Phillips 70), Vardy (Hammond 88). Subs Not Used: Schlupp, Logan, Mahrez, Wood.

Referee: D Drysdale. Attendance: 10,719.

All photos: Simon Kimber

We are extending our popular ‘The FOX as a late Christmas present to the Leicester City fan in your life’ into January – minus the Christmas wrapping.…

They will receive all the issues that have come out by mid-December this season: The Summer Special 2013; FOX 186 and FOX 187, will be posted in time for Christmas and will be gift-wrapped.

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Leicester Pip Cherries to the Points

Leicester City 2:1 AFC Bournemouth

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City’s sixth consecutive home win saw them overcome a decent Bournemouth side at the KPS on Saturday afternoon…

Nigel Pearson named an unchanged side for this fixture which hadn’t been played since Boxing Day 1989, and they got off to a racing start.
Knockaert played a clever ball through for Dyer who tested Cherries’ keeper Allsop with an angled drive.
Vardy was then brought down by Ward, who was booked, and from Knockaert’s free-kick Morgan’s effort looked goalbound until it struck Vardy who couldn’t get out of the way in time.
Bournemouth were swift on the break however and  Grabban saw a thumping shot deflected just wide.
City went ahead in the 18th minute when Dyer hared down the left and then set up Nugent who curled a precise shot beyond Allsop’s reach and into the top right hand corner.
City couldn’t add to the scoreline before the break despite their best efforts, but the visitor’s did.
In the 38th minute the ball sat up nicely for Pugh who hammered a fine shot past Schmeichel to put the Cherries level.

Just seven minutes into the second half Pearson replaced Nugent with Wood.
Vardy was shoved over by Ward but got no change from the ref, and as City pressed forward Knockaert and Moore also had chances, but it was the sheer persistence of Vardy that put City back into the lead in the 63rd minute.
A ball over the top from Wood looked as if it was heading for the keeper but the onrushing Vardy appeared to put him in two minds and it was the City striker who got to it first, rounding Allsop before slotting home the winner.
Two minutes later Ward fouled Drinkwater  and had a second yellow card shown to him, taking almost a minute of his own side’s time to leave the pitch.
City never really looked threatened after that and closed out the game successfully as they have so many times recently. Substitute Schlupp almost found a third goal but sent his glancing effort inches wide of the left hand post.
It wasn’t needed, as City took the points and moved up into the second automatic promotion place.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Konchesky, Drinkwater, Morgan, Vardy (Schlupp 86), King (Hammond 86), Dyer, Moore, Knockaert, Wasilewski, Nugent (Wood 52). Subs Not Used: James, Taylor-Fletcher, Miquel, Logan.
Bournemouth: Allsop, Francis, Cook, Pugh, Arter, Grabban (Elphick 68), Daniels (Thomas 80), Fraser ((Pitman 57), Ward, Rantie, Collison. Subs Not Used: Surman, Jalal, Harte, O’Kane.

Referee: Andy Davies. Attendance: 23,357.

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