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    Bournemouth vs. Leicester City - Match Report

    Foxes make it 8 points from a possible 12.

    Another correct result prediction for the column this week, as Bournemouth and Leicester played out a 1-1 draw at Dean Court. Whilst a 2-2 scoreline was backed, the game was cagier than anticipated, and both teams will be pleased to have taken a point from the encounter.

    Surprisingly, Claudio Ranieri rotated Okazaki to the bench, bringing in summer signing N’Golo Kante for his full debut. This meant an unanticipated change of shape, with Kante operating as a number 10, leaving Vardy as the lone striker. A noticeable strategy from City in the first 3 games had been the excellent out of possession work of the twin strikers, and this was sadly lacking from Saturdays display due to the formational shift.

    Eddie Howe dropped Josh King as various pundits expected, with ex Middlesbrough midfielder Lee Tomlin taking his place. The teams were therefore set up in very similar manners, although styles of play were certainly contrasting, with Leicester happy to go long much earlier than the hosts.

    Chances were few and far between in the first half. In fact, over the full 90 minutes, there were only 9 attempts on goal between the two sides. This suggests a midfield battle, congested more than The Cherries would have expected due to Kante’s positioning.

    Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the first half from a Leicester point of view was the ineffectiveness of the in-form Mahrez. Claudio Ranieri ended up replacing the influential Algerian during the half time interlude, with Shinji Okazaki taking his place, meaning a shift back to 442.

    At this point, The Foxes were already one down, and had rarely threatened the goal of Artur Boruc. Jamie Vardy fired a curling left foot effort over the bar, before Callum Wilson opened the scoring with an acrobatic over head kick on 24 minutes.

    Leicester will feel that they had chances to clear during the move. As Charlie Daniels left wing cross deflected up off Ritchie De Laat, Max Gradel was first to react somehow beating Robert Huth in the air. Wes Morgan had been sucked towards the ball, leaving Callum Wilson in space. Morgan then attempted to stretch to intercept, when an attempt to head may have been a better (albeit dangerous) decision in retrospect. Wilson connected sweetly, and the ball flew home.

    Kante got out of jail 8 minutes later, as a replay showed the referee was wrong to award a free kick on the edge of the box for a foul on Tomlin, as the offence had actually taken place just inside.

    The second half started on a sour note, with Tyrone Mings suffering a seemingly serious injury just 5 minutes into his Premier League debut. Leicester then came close with a cross shot from Jeffrey Schlupp that the ‘keeper did well to palm to safety. Bournemouth looked favourites to win heading in to the final stages of the game, before Vardy was upended by Cook before blasting home the resulting penalty.

    Vardy’s pace was a constant threat, and there was absolutely no doubt about the award of the spot kick, as a quick change of direction drew a mistimed lunge from Cook. Boruc got two hands to Vardy’s powerful strike, but was only able to deflect it into the roof of the net.

    Ranieri commented "There were 10 minutes when Bournemouth played very well. In the second half we put them under pressure and made some good chances. I think at the end we deserved to draw.” The Manager and fans alike will surely be delighted with an unbeaten start to the season, although no clean sheets in four games may be a slight cause for concern for both parties.

    Leicester do not return to Premier League action until September 13th at home to Aston Villa. This should be an excellent chance to gain a victory, but much will depend on players remaining unscathed whilst on international duty. De Laat, Huth, Drinkwater and Albrighton are likely to be the only members of Saturdays starting XI not called up. With many fringe players also likely to travel away, The Tinkerman may have to do more tinkering than he’d like for the Villa game.

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    Item Reviewed: Bournemouth vs. Leicester City - Match Report Rating: 5 Reviewed By: George Delves
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