Leicester City 1:1 AFC Bournemouth
A superb Riyad Mahrez free-kick in the 7th minute of time-added-on salvaged a point from a poor City performance against Bournemouth at the KPS on Saturday…
Claude Puel made three changes to his side, with Fuchs, Silva and Amartey in for Gray, Chilwell and Simpson.
In freezing conditions City had a decent opening spell.
In the 13th Albrighton set up Silva for a shot that flew well over. A minute later a wayward ball from the Cherries defence sent Mahrez clear on goal but his left-footed jab was blocked by Begovic.
However, the game changed in the 20th minute when Amartey appeared to pull a hamstring. With Simpson not even having a place on the bench, Chilwell came on and City changed to a back three. Albrighton may be many things, but he’s not a right back and it was an awkward fit that saw Bournemouth take charge.
King and Stanislas both had chances that went wide, and City were reduced to lumping the ball upfield where Vardy was frustrated by the linesman’s flag.
Maguire then rumbled upfield but had a shot blocked.
With Bournemouth pressing forward, City conceded a 34th minute penalty. Albrighton put in a clumsy challenge on King as he was heading out of the penalty area and he picked himself up to send Schmeichel the wrong way from 12 yards. Or 11 and 3/4 yards as Schmeichel and Maguire protested to the referee that the ball wasn’t placed on the spot.
City produced little of note up to the break, looking devoid of ideas, and there was some booing at the end of the half.
There were no changes to either side and half-time, and City continued to struggle.
The visitors should have had another penalty awarded in the 54th minute when Ndidi shoved Daniels over in the area, but the ref waved play on.
Claude Puel made a change on the hour replacing Silva, who had not had a good afternoon, with Iheanacho.
A chance soon arrived after this change when Vardy’s cross from the left was half cleared to Chilwell whose well-struck shot was deflected over.
As City began to get a grip on the game the chances mounted.
Morgan headed over from a Mahrez cross, and Vardy sent a shot high and wide from a decent position.
Another Mahrez free-kick then picked out Morgan at the far post but his header flew across the face of goal.
An Albrighton corner found Maguire close in, but his first shot was cleared off the line back to him and his second was blocked, with Iheanacho’s attempted backheel going wide.
With Bournemouth now intent on defending their lead Puel brought Diabaté on for Fuchs in the 79th minute.
City piled on the pressure at this stage but an endless series of corners were mostly delivered straight into Begovic’s clutches.
Mahrez saw a fierce shot blocked with what might have been an arm as the 90 minutes approached, but Lee Probert waved away the appeals.
As the four minutes of time-added-on stretched to a sixth minute it looked as though the Cherries would hang on to the three points.
But then a foul on Ndidi 26 yards out presented City with one last chance.
Mahrez swung it round the four man wall and into the bottom left hand corner and a point had been salvaged with a moment of brilliance.
There was no disguising another poor performance from City however, and Claude Puel commented: “I think we deserved something from the game but one point is not enough for us. I am pleased with the spirit and the mentality of the team. We tried until the end but it is not good for the points but for the momentum it is important.”
Leicester: Schmeichel, Amartey (Chilwell 20), Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs (Diabaté 79), James, Ndidi, Silva (Iheanacho 59). Mahrez, Vardy, Albrighton.
Substitutes: Chilwell, Gray, Iheanacho, Hamer, Dragovic, Iborra, Diabaté.
Bournemouth: Begovic, Francis, S Cook, Aké, Smith, L Cook, Gosling, Daniels, King (Mousset 90), Wilson (Surman 77), Stanislas.
Substitutes: Boruc, Surman, Defoe, Fraser, Mousset, Simpson, Taylor.
Referee: L Probert. Attendance: 31,384.
PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.
We are producing a Limited Edition (75) print of the FiftySomething strip from The FOX Summer Special 2016 – celebrating City’s Premier League title win.
The A3 sized print will be available from next Thursday (25th Jan) , but you can pre-order one now.
They will be posted to you rolled in a cardboard tube.
The prints cost £6.50 and post & packing is £3.45. (UK only)
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