The Premier League's ninety-two remaining games, spread across nine rounds of games are set to play out beginning June 17th 2020, with Project Restart's health and safety conditions meaning the remaining games of the season will be played out behind closed doors. We will be providing match reports from these behind closed doors competitive encounters as the league campaign nears its end-game. All aboard.
Match Report (GW35): Team 4-1 Leicester
Bournemouth host a Leicester team needing to win after Aston Villa’s victory over Crystal Palace, if they were to lose this fixture, it is clear the dye has been cast on their eventual relegation. Leicester look to regain their form with Jamie Vardy finding his shooting boots again, and Brendan Rodgers will be keen to keep a place in the top four, keeping Manchester United in fifth place.
Bournemouth had a nervy start to the worry of Eddie Howe, they were slow in their passing, and their defenders looked shaky as Leicester were hounding their goal. Leicester quickly found their feet in this game, the only downside was losing Marc Albrighton to an injury, with Ryan Bennett coming on his place, with Justin pushed further up the pitch.
The gong struck quickly for how Bournemouth have been performing, with Leicester striking first in this game. The front three combined with quick passing, and Iheanacho pulls a cross back into the six-yard box, Lloyd Kelly failed to clear the ball and Jamie Vardy pounced on the mistake and tapped it into Bournemouth’s goal, securing his 23rd goal of the season in the 23rd minute of the game. Calamitous defending from Bournemouth, the same mistakes and composure that has seen their goal sieged so regularly this season.
Vardy could have added his 24th of the season when another cutting pass reached the Englishman, and Vardy turned Ake, who was forced into a lunging challenge to deflect Vardy’s shot on goal. The challenge also ended the Dutchman’s game, picking up an injury, with Simon Cook on to replace him. Bournemouth did find some space in the game, Solanke played in Dan Gosling for a lo63ng-range curling shot that forced Schmeichel into a good save.
The second half was a scrappy affair for the first portion of it, with a bizarre moment in the 63rd minute reinvigorating the second half. Schmeichel under hits a goal kick which hits the back of Ndidi, Callum Wilson pounces on the ball and drives into the box, with Ndidi tripping up Wilson for a clear penalty, and a lifeline for Bournemouth. Junior Stanislas steps up and goes right down the middle to score for Bournemouth. Kasper Schmeichel is furious with himself.
Things went from bad to worse for Leicester, within the next minute Bournemouth countered after Leicester gave away from their goal restart, with Rico feeding Dominic Solanke who powers a low shot at Schmeichel that squirmed through the Dane’s legs, and into the back post for a shock goal that put Bournemouth into the lead. If you thought things couldn’t be as bad for Leicester, the referee spotted Çağlar Söyüncü lashing out at Callum Wilson, kicking him inside the goal mouth because Wilson was covering the ball after falling into the net. The referee immediately brandished the red card immediately for the Turkish defender, with 101 seconds completely turning this game on its head. Solanke found the perfect time to score his first goal of the season, and his first for Bournemouth, which gives the Cherries a much-needed lifeline in their survival bid this campaign.
If you thought that Leicester’s evening wouldn’t get even worse, Bournemouth got a third goal in what surely looked like three points in the bag. Stanislas drove at the Leicester defenders who just watched him without making a challenge, with the Frenchman’s shot being deflected through the legs of Jonny Evans and into Schmeichel’s goal. The Frenchman has changed the pace of the game, with questions about why Stanislas was side-lined in the restart being asked of Howe’s team selection.
If you thought the game was done for Leicester, and that surely things couldn't even be worse for the Foxes, you’d be wrong again. Leicester’s throw in on the left channel is intercepted by a pressing Solanke who was bursting with confidence, with neat footwork dribbles into a shooting position, and coolly passes the ball into the net through Schmeichel’s legs and into the net for Bournemouth’s fourth goal of the second half. Solanke must have listened to Jürgen Klopp’s gegenpressing tactics whilst at Liverpool, because Solanke absolutely robbed the Leicester defence.
The energy, pressing, and desire of Bournemouth’s performance kept increasing, they wanted a fifth goal, and Leicester’s shaky passing in defence could have gifted them that. Substitute Sam Surridge could have notched his first league goal after Leicester were sloppy in giving away the ball, going through on goal, and just missing the goal by an inch.
A football game can change in an instant, and the second half of this game was one of the best moments of football since the restart. Bournemouth have been showing signs of fight, and today it fell into place for them. Joining Villa in winning today, the relegation race that looked all certain going into todays games is now looking a little hazier. Watford and West Ham are now on notice.
Goal Contributions: Bournemouth
Goals: Stanislas (1), Solanke (2), Evens (OG, 1)
Assists: Wilson (1), Rico (1), Stanislas (1)
Goal Contributions: Leicester
Goals: Vardy (1)
Man of the Match: Junior Stanislas (BOU)
The introduction of Junior Stanislas changed the momentum of the game in Bournemouth’s favour. An experienced player of his creed showed why he has been a reliable figure at Bournemouth so long, encouraging his team, creating goals, and scoring crucial penalties. Stanislas also scored against Manchester United a few Gameweek’s ago, which proves his quality isn’t a fluke. Stanislas was the trigger today, and whilst Solanke scored two goals, he wouldn’t have had the chance if Stanislas hadn’t changed the game.
BOU 4-1 LEI - Insight and Analysis:
This game looked like a funeral arrangement up until the 60th minute, and then one Kasper Schmeichel goal kick turned this into a high stake’s affair, with Bournemouth closing the gap on Watford who must be looking down with worrying stares with both the Cherries and Aston Villa picking up vital wins. What a win for Eddie Howe, the team should now feel greatly encouraged for their remaining games. The only roadblock is travelling to high scoring Manchester City, but this is the Premier League, anything can happen. I really hope Bournemouth stay up, Howe has offered a lot to the Premier League, and have attacked their run in the league up until this point.
Oh, Leicester. Being a Liverpool supporter, I know the sting of a Brendan Rodgers team in the business end of the season. Leicester will now be without their best defender for the remainder of the season, and with the result of Man City’s appeal to the CAS over their Champions League ban announced tomorrow, times are nervy for the Foxes. One of the biggest contributing factors over their decline since the restart is their defence.
With injuries and suspensions deciding the Leicester eleven currently, the Leicester defence except for Jonny Evans is completely different from when they were flying high earlier in the season. The current defence is Justin, Evans, Bennett, and Fuchs, a much different site from Pereira, Söyüncü, Evans, and Chilwell. They relied on these four being fit and together to compete, and it doesn’t help Schmeichel has been in poor form too. The way things are going I can honestly see Leicester playing themselves out of Champions League football for next season.
Venue: Vitality Stadium
Manager: Eddie Howe
GK: Aaron Ramsdale
LB: Diego Rico
CB: Lloyd Kelly
CB: Nathan Ake (S. Cook, 40’)
RB: Jack Stacey
LM: Arnaut Danjuma (P. Billing, 45’)
CM: Dan Gosling (J. Stanislas, 45’)
CM: Jefferson Lerma
RM: David Brooks (L. Cook, 81’)
ST: Dominic Solanke
ST: Callum Wilson (S. Surridge, 90’)
Artur Boruc, Jack Simpson, Simon Cook, Andrew Surman, Philip Billing, Lewis Cook, Harry Wilson, Junior Stanislas, Sam Surridge
Manager: Brendan Rodgers
GK: Kasper Schmeichel
CB: James Justin
CB: Çaglar Söyüncü
CB: Jonny Evans
LM: Christian Fuchs
CM: Youri Tielemans
CM: Wilfried Ndidi
RM: Marc Albrighton (R. Bennett, 16’)
AM: Ayoze Perez (H. Barnes, 71’)
ST: Jamie Vardy
ST: Kelechi Iheanacho (D. Praet, 45’)
Danny Ward, Ryan Bennett, Dennis Praet, Demarai Gray, Harvey Barnes, Wes Morgan, Nampalys Mendy, Hamza Choudhury, Matty James
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