Leicester 0-0 Bournemouth: Paying the penalty

Date published: Saturday 2nd January 2016 6:00

Leicester failed to score for a third consecutive game as 10-man Bournemouth held them to a 0-0 draw.

Riyad Mahrez had a gilt-edged opportunity to give the Foxes the lead just before the hour mark, with Simon Francis sent off after felling Jamie Vardy in the penalty area.

Algerian Mahrez stepped up to take the resultant penalty, but Artur Boruc saved excellently, with Bournemouth holding on to secure a much-needed point.

Claudio Ranieri said this week he felt the Bournemouth game would be tougher than City’s visit, and he was not far wrong. The Foxes huffed and puffed and Vardy failed to find the back of the net for a fourth successive match as Leicester fell two points adrift of Arsenal at the Premier League summit.

Mahrez had much of the King Power Stadium on its feet in the 10th minute when his spectacular overhead volley flew just over the crossbar. Shortly afterwards Boruc was quickly out of his goal to gather at Leonardo Ulloa’s feet and deny the Leicester striker.

Bournemouth, now beaten just once in their last seven matches, saw a big chance go begging after quarter of an hour when Josh King glanced his header wide after Junior Stanislas had picked him out inside the six-yard box.

It was Leicester’s turn to miss a sitter as the half-hour mark approached. Leading scorer Vardy controlled a mis-hit shot from Ulloa around the penalty spot but with only Boruc to beat he poked his shot against the inside of a post and the ball rebounded away.

Stanislas and Dan Gosling were then guilty of scooping shots over the crossbar from good positions inside the penalty area.

Back at the other end, Mahrez put in Vardy down the left-hand side of the box but the 15-goal striker missed the far post with his low effort from a tight angle.

Further scoring opportunities came and went for Leicester at the beginning of the second half as a fingertip save from Boruc denied Vardy before captain Wes Morgan volleyed the ball over the crossbar from inside the six-yard box following a corner.

For the first time in the match the momentum was firmly with one team and the pendulum swung further in Leicester’s favour in the 57th minute with the dismissal of Francis.

The Bournemouth captain and Vardy chased after Danny Drinkwater’s through ball, and with Vardy winning the race, Francis made a sliding challenge, bringing down the Foxes man. Television replays suggested Francis got a touch on the ball, and he protested as much, but referee Andre Marriner brought out his red card and awarded the penalty.

Bournemouth will feel some justice was served as Boruc, diving to his left, got two strong hands to Mahrez’s spot-kick.

Eddie Howe’s team responded well to their numerical disadvantage. The introduction of experienced defender Sylvain Distin, for midfielder Harry Artur, helped as Bournemouth by and large kept Leicester at arm’s length for the remainder of the game.

Leicester did have some chances, though. Substitute Shinji Okazaki sent a volley narrowly wide before Vardy glanced a header past a post in between two efforts by N’Golo Kante from outside the box.

Ranieri’s team were to be frustrated though and are now without a win in three games.

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