Bournemouth 1-0 Leicester City: Marc Pugh strike floors tame Foxes
By Jack Wilkinson
Last Updated: 14/12/16 8:24am
Leicester City's dismal Premier League title defence continued with a limp 1-0 defeat against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Tuesday night.
Marc Pugh marked his first Premier League start of the season with the decisive goal, emphatically volleying the Cherries ahead after 34 minutes after Ron-Robert Zieler had denied Benik Afobe.
The reigning champions looked a shadow of the side which ruthlessly dispatched Manchester City 4-2 in their last league outing but came close to snatching a point at the death, only for Artur Boruc to thwart Leonardo Ulloa from point-blank range.
The result moved Bournemouth up to eighth the table. Leicester, meanwhile, remain four points clear of the relegation zone in 14th.
Pugh was drafted into the Bournemouth line-up alongside Jack Wilshere and Joshua King as Eddie Howe made three changes from Saturday's defeat at Burnley.
The Cherries nearly made the perfect start as Adam Smith came within inches of heading Charlie Daniels' driven cross home inside four minutes.
Having combined brilliantly to dismantle City last time out, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy almost repeated the feat in the seventh minute but, having been played through on goal, the England striker's heavy touch allowed Steve Cook to block his goal-bound effort.
A period of Bournemouth dominance followed though as Leicester struggled to retain possession in opposition territory.
Wilshere called Zieler into action with a low drive from 18 yards before the hosts saw referee Paul Tierney ignore claims for a penalty after 29 minutes after Luis Hernandez appeared to haul Nathan Ake to ground.
Despite being on the back foot, Leicester continued to create the better chances as Robert Huth saw a fierce drive blocked en route to goal on 33 minutes.
However, that simply spurned the hosts on and they took a deserved lead on the counter.
Pugh was perfectly placed to react quickest to the loose ball after Zieler had saved from Benik Afobe, with the midfielder emphatically thundering home his first goal since April.
The goal was quickly followed by an encouraging feat for Wilshere, who surpassed 887 minutes of Premier League action for Bournemouth - more than he had managed in his previous two seasons at Arsenal.
Leicester started the second half well but Huth was again unable to grab a foothold for the champions, swiping at thin air at a corner five minutes after the restart.
Adam Smith then whistled a curling effort over fractionally over the Leicester goal as the Cherries pushed for a second.
Huth was presented with another chance to draw Leicester level on 75 minutes but the German glanced a header agonisingly wide.
The Foxes continued to come forward with substitute Shinji Okazaki dragging a shot wide on 76 minutes before Cook's last-ditch block thwarted the Japan international four minutes from time.
But the drama wasn't to end there as, in the final minute of normal time, Boruc blocked Ulloa's fiercely-struck effort to secure the Bournemouth victory, extending Leicester's wait for an away win to eight games.
Bournemouth: Boruc (8), Francis (7), Cook (9), Smith (8), Daniels (7), Wilshere (7), Ake (7), Arter (7), Pugh (8), King (8), Afobe (6).
Used subs: Gosling (5), Wilson (5), Mings (n/a).
Leicester: Zieler (6), Hernandez (5), Morgan (6), Huth (5), Fuchs (5), Mahrez (5), King (5), Amartey (5), Albrighton (6), Vardy (6), Slimani (4).
Used subs: Musa (5), Okazaki (5), Ulloa (4).
Man of the Match: Steve Cook.