Leicester City fell to AFC Bournemouth by a score of 1-0 at the King Power on Saturday. A James Maddison mistake led to a Philip Billing goal for the visitors in a first-half dominated by the Cherries. City were better in the second half an equaliser, slumping to their club-record fifth straight home defeat.
Interim manager Adam Sadler made two changes to the starting XI that lost to Aston Villa on Tuesday, dropping Harry Souttar and with Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall missing out due to suspension: Daniel Iversen, Timothy Castagne, Daniel Amartey, Wout Faes, Victor Kristiansen, Ricardo Pereira, Boubakary Soumare, Wilfred Ndidi, James Maddison (C), Harvey Barnes, and Jamie Vardy.
The opening half-hour followed the script of a late-season bottom-of-the-table clash: It was nervous, intense, and lacking in quality, resulting in few chances and no goals. The crowd started in fine voice, but it wasn’t long before they were holding their breath more than cheering.
April 8, 2023
Before long, we’re going to have to talk about what’s going on in the King Power off the pitch.
The Cherries gradually gained ascendency, with the Foxes struggling to get the ball out of their half. The goal was coming, but the way it came was utterly farcical. Madders of all people played a blind backpass and left it short. Philip Billing was on it in a flash and cooly slotted under the onrushing Iversen.
I’d like to tell you that the goal spurred a furious response from the Foxes and/or the supporters, but nothing of the sort was in the offing. When the referee blew for halftime, the Foxes had amassed all of four shots, none of which were on target. We struggled to get the ball out of our own feet, let alone our own half, for too long. Would there be changes at the break?
There were no changes. Interesting.
Right from the start, Amertey misjudged a ball over his head, allowing Billing in behind. He squared for Dominic Solanke. The former Liverpool man’s shot was brilliantly saved by Iversen. Moments later, Iversen was called into action again to save a close-range header from a corner. At this point, he was the only thing keeping us in the match.
Sadler didn’t like what he was seeing, which, fair enough, I doubt anyone associated with the club in even the most tangential sense was enjoying it. He withdrew Vardy and Ricardo and sent Patson Daka and Kelechi Iheanacho into the fray. Thirty minutes to save the season
City finally got their first shot on shortly after the change, with Iheanacho picking out Madders in the box, but the Bournemouth keeper Neto did well to tip it over. Another well-worked move saw Iheanacho blast straight at the keeper from close range. The chance came at a high price, as Barnes went down and couldn’t continue, making way for Tete.
The Foxes were well on top at this point, but the chances they were getting were the sort that would make only the tiniest pinpricks on the xG charts. Sadler made his last change, sending Dennis Praet on for Ndidi.
The air of desperation allowed Bournemouth to manage the game comfortably. Leicester were trying low-percentage long passes every time they saw the ball and giving the ball away time and again. Six minutes were added on, which might as well have been sixty. The whistle blew, and the hole the Foxes needed to dig themselves out of just got a little deeper.
We looked like a team that knew they needed to win and had no idea how to do it.
Leicester (0.74) 0-1 (2.21) Bournemouth— The xG Philosophy (@xGPhilosophy) April 8, 2023
His distribution needs work, but Iversen can stop shots.
We’re now on 25 points from 30 matches. Claudio is looking on and shaking his head. We’re 19th on the table, two behind Everton in 17th. The bad news is that the pack above Everton is starting to put some distance between themselves and the bottom three. One week from today, we travel to the Etihad to face Manchester City. On the 22nd, Wolverhampton Wanderers come to the King Power.