AFC Bournemouth were left to rue a slew of missed chances as they played a goalless draw against a non-threatening Leicester City side.
It was a match of few moments, but almost all of those were Bournemouth’s. Notable incidents included a handball shout after Marc Pugh‘s early drive, and fizzing shots from Pugh and Junior Stanislas.
The match had a frantic start. Within 3 minutes, Jermain Defoe had smacked the post after good interplay down the Bournemouth right side. The ball fell to Pugh, whose shot deflected wide off Danny Simpson. Replays indicated the England player handled the ball, but referee Graham Scott was unmoved. He was perhaps unsighted by the wall of Leicester players in front of him, but it was a very convincing penalty appeal.
The match then settled into a consistent spell of possession for Bournemouth. Josh King and Pugh forced smart saves out of Kasper Schmeichel, who was undoubtedly one of Leicester’s better players. The half ended with Leicester lucky not be down. Harry Maguire was also fortunate not to be booked for consistent fouling.
The second half was a similar story. Leicester’s searching long balls for Jamie Vardy were deftly dealt with by the Bournemouth back-line of Nathan Ake and Simon Francis throughout the half. Vardy had a frustrating afternoon and cut a lonely figure up front for Leicester, who were starved of possession throughout.
The reason for Bournemouth’s utter dominance was the stellar Lewis Cook. The England midfielder, making his first start of the season, was efficient in his passing and left many Leicester players in his wake. In the 57th minute, he expertly wriggled past a couple of Leicester bodies and carved out a chance for King, one of his many quality moments.
Cook had a couple of shots which were either deflected out or saved. His midfield partner, Andrew Surman, curled one agonisingly past the post in the 73rd. This was in the middle of some intense pressure from The Cherries, who had shots from Stanislas and Pugh saved by Schmeichel.
Leicester’s only notable chance came in the 60th minute, with Shinji Okazaki smacking a presentable shot wide. Riyad Mahrez also threatened briefly, but it was a toothless performance from The Foxes overall. Bournemouth will be left frustrated by the result, but there are things to build on for Eddie Howe‘s side in weeks to come.
The next fixture for Bournemouth, after the international break, is a tough away trip to Tottenham Hotspur. Howe must use these two weeks to reflect on chances gone begging, on a day where his team really deserved more.