Leicester City 3-1 Bournemouth: 3 Talking points
Leicester City underlined their credentials as serious contenders to break the top-six lock this season, as a man-of-the-match performance from Jamie Vardy propelled the Foxes to a rather straightforward 3-1 victory over Bournemouth at home in the Premier League on Saturday.
Having opened his account for the season in the 2-1 victory over Sheffield United last week, Vardy continued his fine run of form and opened the scoring for the Foxes just 12 minutes into the game.
Ryan Fraser set up Callum Wilson for a neat finish to draw Bournemouth level after just three minutes but Vardy was once again in the thick of things towards the end of the half, turning provider for Youri Tielemans’ goal.
Brendan Rodgers’ side went into the interval with their noses in front and they continued to dictate most of the play in the second half, as the Cherries struggled to make any real inroads.
Vardy capped off a brilliant all-round display with his second goal of the day to put the game beyond Bournemouth’s reach, with Tielemans grabbing the assist.
The result meant that the Foxes went into the international break placed third in the standings, behind just Liverpool and Man City. Let us take a look at 3 talking points from the game:
1. Another VAR controversy
The VAR system has already come under the spotlight numerous times early in the season.
Indeed, Leicester won’t be arguing about it too much after a positive result but Youri Tielemans is likely to know that he was lucky to stay on the pitch for a horrible studs-up challenge on Callum Wilson.
On-field referee Peter Bankes wasn’t in a position to assess the incident. VAR, of course, came into play and a check was always going to be on the cards for that kind of a tackle.
However, much to the anger and disappointment of the Bournemouth fans, the technology didn’t reveal any clear and obvious error made by the referee.
Ironically, Tielemans was spared without a booking, given the ruling which states clearly that VAR can only check for red cards. Well, it is such a shame that such refereeing blunders in the Premier League cannot be overturned even after the introduction of technology.
2. Eddie Howe might regret the sale of Tyrone Mings
Vulnerability at the back was one of the main reasons behind Bournemouth’s undoing last season and Eddie Howe was expected to adopt significant measures to improve his backline this summer after the Cherries finished the previous campaign with one of the worst defensive records in the division.
In reply to that, the manager sold Tyrone Mings to Aston Villa and the result is there for everyone to see. Just four games into the season, Mings has done enough at Villa Park to earn a spot in the England national team, whilst Bournemouth have continued to pay the price for some mediocre defending.
After putting up decent displays at the back in their first three games, Bournemouth’s backline collapsed like a pack of cards against the pace and guile of Jamie Vardy.
Looking back at the opening goal, Chris Mepham and Steve Cook failed to read the trajectory of Ben Chilwell’s long pass and execute what should have been a rather simple headed clearance, thus allowing Vardy to go clear through on goal.
Apart from that, Vardy shrugged off a rather weak challenge from Cook to thread the ball across the face of the goal and Tielemans ran past a couple of sleepy faces inside the box to make it 2-1.
Such ineptitude from the defenders is bound to have infuriated Howe on the sidelines. Maybe, the decision to sell Mings this summer wasn’t the right one, after all.
3. Vardy was awesome but a solid all-around team performance promises big things for the Foxes
Leicester’s talismanic No.9 stole the limelight with a man-of-the-match display but Rodgers should be happy with how the entire team performed well as a unit, with all almost all the players putting in impressive shifts in their respective roles.
The centre-back pairing of Caglar Soyuncu and Jonny Evans did pretty well, as did full-backs Ricardo Pereira and Ben Chilwell.
Youngster Hamza Choudhury and Wilfred Ndidi seem to be growing in confidence with each passing game, while James Maddison has already shown that he has the makings to develop into a world-class No.10 in the future.
Tielemans was under a bit of pressure after failing to live up to the expectations in the first three games but the Belgian, though lucky to have escaped a red card, played a part in two of Leicester’s goals against Bournemouth.
Marcus Albrighton, who was brought into the side in place of Ayoze Perez, impressed with the quality of his balls into the box, while academy graduate Harvey Barnes looked lively and exciting as ever in his first start of the season.
All in all, Leicester are yet to hit top gear but they have taken significant strides towards performing at the level which they are capable of.