The results elsewhere could hardly have been worse from the point of view of Bournemouth, Watford, West Ham and Aston Villa all winning before kick-off. If they weren’t already optimistic, they were discouraged at half time, at which point Leicester, who are chasing a Champions League spot, should have been home and dry.For Bournemouth, a hairy start was poisoned while Jamie Vardy grabbed the last of a catalog of errors, the attacker picking up the ball above the line when Lloyd Kelly tried to break free on the goalie.
It was a dreadful strike to concede from start to finish, with Dan Gosling pickpocketed by Ayoze Pérez, who broke halfway before sliding to Kelechi Iheanacho. He lifted the ball into the area towards Vardy, who feasted on the scraps. It stacked and Bournemouth took the unwanted crown to become the first team to concede at least 60 goals in five consecutive Premier League seasons. This numbing statistic tells its own story for a team that has kept just one clean sheet of its last 18 games, scoring nine points out of 54 possible.
Given that Bournemouth had not come back from behind to win a championship game in almost two years, such a response seemed unlikely and things went from bad to worse seven minutes before the break when Nathan Aké hampered after making efforts excessive to prevent Vardy from doubling Leicester’s advantage.
Arnaut Danjuma plunged Bournemouth into trouble with a blind back pass directly to a grateful Vardy, who made a shot towards goal. Leicester was precise, Iheanacho spying twice on an opening before testing Aaron Ramsdale for the Bournemouth goal.
Aside from David Brooks forcing Kasper Schmeichel to make a superb left-handed stop, the hosts were static, laborious and seemed to be carrying too many players. They were second in midfield, while the left flank was a particularly weak link, so it was not surprising that Danjuma and Gosling, who had been booked, withdrew at the break.
What happened next was impossible to imagine. Halfway through the second half of chaos ensued inside Leicester’s 18-yard playing area after Schmeichel kicked Wilfred Ndidi in the back, inviting Callum Wilson to try to bypass the goalkeeper. At that time, Ndidi and Schmeichel combined to bring Wilson to the ground and Junior Stanislas intervened to kick.
“Let’s go again,” urged Howe on the sideline and his team listened, while Schmeichel sent the ball into an empty pit. Leicester have been sloppy since the restart and, almost immediately, Rico slipped into Solanke, who advanced without dispute and pierced Schmeichel’s legs. Then Soyuncu’s frustrations got the better of him, kicking Wilson to give those in Stockley Park the easiest decision at the end of a miserable week.
But Bournemouth had even more to give, Schmeichel being in the wrong place after a shot by Stanislas diverted from Jonny Evans before Solanke won an extraordinary victory. He grabbed a sloppy pass from Christian Fuchs before sneaking into the box and getting home easily.