Leicester City 0 – 1 Bournemouth. Bournemouth moved out of the Premier League’s relegation zone with an impressive victory that piled more misery on beleaguered Leicester City.
Philip Billing scored the winning goal in the first half, latching on to James Maddison’s shocking attempt at a backpass to coolly slot past Daniel Iversen.
Bournemouth were much the better side and should have added to their tally but Billing flicked the post with a free-kick in the early stages, while Iversen kept his side in it with a total of six saves.
The goalkeeper, who has usurped Danny Ward as number one, pushed away Billing’s stinging drive and also kept out Dominic Solanke’s low shot with a sharp stop.
Caretaker boss Adam Sadler saw his side create very few chances in the contest. Maddison looked to make amends for his error but a fierce drive was tipped over by Neto.
The seismic triumph for the Cherries moved them up to 15th place and three points clear of the drop zone, while Leicester remain firmly in trouble, one place above the bottom and two points from safety.
Both of these sides started the day in the bottom three and a relegation ‘six pointer’ went deservedly the way of Gary O’Neil’s men.
The south coast side were sharper to the ball and peppered Iversen’s goal and although they only scored one, they came away with all three crucial points.
Bournemouth’s form on the road has been rotten, losing eight of their last nine on their travels before this game, but victory saw them keep just their second clean sheet in 25 away games.
They were given a gift for the only goal of the game, when Maddison’s blind pass got nowhere near Iversen, allowing Billing to intercept and score his seventh league goal of the season.
The reliance on the Dane is evident, as either he or Solanke have scored or provided the assist for 11 of Bournemouth’s last 13 goals away from home.
The visiting supporters in their corner of the King Power serenaded the players with chants of ‘The reds are staying up’ at full-time, and they have given themselves real hope of doing just that.
This was a dismal showing from Leicester, who are bang in bother at the wrong end of the division and staring at relegation back to the Championship.
That would have been unthinkable when they shocked the footballing world by winning the Premier League title seven years ago, but they now have a monumental task to preserve their top-flight status.
They sacked manager Brendan Rodgers last Sunday but have lost both games under interim Sadler, and suffered a fourth consecutive home defeat as supporters loudly jeered the side at both half-time and the final whistle.
Leicester’s miserable run has seen them collect just eight points since Christmas, the worst total in the league, and a leaky defence has now gone 15 matches without a clean sheet.
Maddison’s mistake proved fatal on this occasion and he was unable to conjure any magic to salvage anything from the game, while substitute Kelechi Iheanacho stabbed a shot from six yards out straight at Neto.
Reports suggest former Leeds manager Jesse Marsch will be appointed soon, but on this evidence the American will have an enormous task on his hands to save the side if he does come in.
source – BBC