By Lewis Lesbirel (@Lewislesbirel)
The Cherries climbed to eighth in the Premier League table after a hard earned 1-0 win over Champions Leicester.
Marc Pugh was the stand out player for the home side and scored the only goal of the game in what was his first Premier League start of the season.
Bournemouth survived some late pressure from the visitors, with Artur Boruc saving well to deny Leicester an equaliser in the dying moments of the game.
The win saw Eddie Howe’s side move just three points off of a Europa League position, though Howe was quick to dismiss any talk of European football after the game.
The home side started brightly and nearly took the lead after just three minutes when Adam Smith just failed to get on the end of a Charlie Daniels cross.
Four minutes later it was the visitors turn to squander a chance, when Jamie Vardy latched on to a Riyad Mahrez pass, only to round Boruc and have his shot blocked by the recovering Simon Francis.
The deadlock was eventually broken on 33 minutes, when Marc Pugh struck a half volley beyond the fingertips of Ron-Robert Zieler after he got down well to save the initial shot from Benik Afobe.
That goal was Pugh’s first since the penultimate game of last season and capped a man of the match performance from the English Midfielder.
The second half began in much the same style, with Smith curling a right-footed effort inches over the crossbar.
Half time substitute Shinji Okazaki came close to levelling the scoreline on 75 minutes, but his effort crept just wide of the post.
Bournemouth then had a chance to extend their lead, when Marc Pugh cut inside from the left and just failed to put enough curl on his attempt.
Eddie Howe’s side looked set to record their first win over Leicester since 1989, but not before Artur Boruc showed his rapid reactions to deny a shot from close range deep into injury time.
There was further late drama when Cook made a vital block from an Okazaki shot, but the Cherries held on gamely to insure a valuable three points against the Champions.
Howe was delighted with the performance of his players, but was keen to play down any talk of European football: “I’m not going to talk about Europe. I’m going to say I want to make the team better and stronger.
“What that leads to, who knows, but when you consider where the club was a few years ago you wouldn’t have thought this was possible.”
Howe was also keen to praise the efforts of man of the match Marc Pugh, who has struggled to make an impact so far this season: “I thought Marc was absolutely magnificent tonight. He’s had to bide his time, he’s been patient, he’s been a model professional.
“He deserves this moment more than anyone and I’m delighted for him.”
The Cherries host Southampton on Sunday in the first South Coast derby of the season. Howe will be hoping for a repeat of last year’s fixture, which saw his side record their first league victory over their local rivals in 58 years: “We know the importance of the game and what it means to our fans. Rest assured we’ll be ready for it.”
Bournemouth: Boruc; Francis, Cook, Ake, Daniels; Arter, Wilshire; Smith, King (Gosling 79’), Pugh; Afobe (Wilson 68’) (Mings 90+3’)
Leicester: Zieler; Hernandez, Morgan, Huth (Ulloa 82’), Fuchs; Mahrez, King, Amartey, Albrighton (Musa 74’); Slimani (Okazaki 45’), Vardy