by Dan Davis (@dan_davis20)
Riyad Mahrez’s equaliser deep into stoppage time denied AFC Bournemouth a narrow victory at Leicester.
The Cherries, who boast an impressive record against the Foxes in the Premier League, created the majority of chances in the opening period and deservedly took the lead when King fired home from 12 yards.
Leicester controlled the second period and, after a series of dangerous set-pieces and last-ditch clearances from the Bournemouth backline, Mahrez fired home a free-kick in the 96th minute to snatch away maximum points from the Dorset side.
Boss Eddie Howe made just one change to his team, after the 2-2 stalemate with Newcastle United last weekend. Adam Smith was named in a five-man backline, with Ryan Fraser dropping to the bench.
Both Jordon Ibe and Marc Pugh picked up injuries during the week and were deemed not fit enough to be in the 18-man squad.
Harry Arter also missed out on the trip to the King Power, despite starting in the Cherries’ 5-1 victory over Wolves in the Premier League Cup this week.
Youngster Kyle Taylor was named among the substitutes for the first time in the top flight, less than a year after signing a professional contract with the Cherries.
Leicester manager Claude Puel recalled Daniel Amartey, Christian Fuchs and Adrien Silva to the starting line-up, with Ben Chilwell and Demarai Gray dropping to the bench and Danny Simpson missing out entirely.
A tight opening period resulted in neither side being able to fashion out clear cut chances, Junior Stanislas’ tame effort the first attempt at goal but it failed to trouble Kasper Schmeichel.
Adrien Silva then chanced his arm, but sent his shot high over Asmir Begovic’s crossbar.
Moments later, the Foxes were presented with a guilt-edged opportunity to take the lead. Lewis Cook’s mistake deep inside the Cherries half was pounced upon by Riyad Mahrez who strode through on goal, but as the tricky Algerian looked to dig out an effort Begovic stood tall to beat away.
A shade after the 20 minute mark, and Bournemouth began to take control. Josh King robbed Wilfried Ndidi of possession 25 yards out, before racing toward the penalty area with options either side. But the Norwegian spurned the chance as he looked to toe-poke past Schmeichel, instead stabbing well wide of the target.
Stanislas would then take centre stage after playing a key role in two quick-fire chances for the visitors. Wilson linked up cleverly with the overlapping Charlie Daniels, who in turn pulled the ball back for Stanislas 10 yards out. But with the goal gaping the winger’s contact was poor and the shot bent narrowly wide of the target.
Leicester looked to respond after 30 minutes, Harry Maguire meeting Marc Albrighton’s floated cross into the box but failing to test Begovic.
The Cherries posed a threat on the break with the pace of Stanislas and King causing problems for Leicester’s makeshift full back Albrighton, who filled in after Amartey appeared to pick up a hamstring injury.
And it would be a mistake from Albrighton which handed the Cherries the lead after 35 minutes. King appeared to be second-best at latching onto a loose ball on the verge of the Foxes’ penalty area, but edged in front of the Leicester City attacker who sent the Norwegian tumbling, Lee Probert pointing to the spot.
After a lengthy delay which saw both Schmeichel and Harry Maguire cautioned, King stepped up and sent the Leicester shot stopper the wrong way to hand the Cherries a deserved lead.
Begovic was then tested after Mahrez drilled a low effort towards goal, but the Bosnian made a comfortable stop.
On the cusp of the interval, the home side inadvertently presented Bournemouth with one last chance to increase the deficit. Albrighton rolled a poorly weighted pass back to Schmeichel who looked to scramble away as Wilson raced to intercept, the final touch coming off the ex-Coventry frontman and clearing the danger.
After both sides emerged from the break, the Foxes looked for an immediate leveller. Jamie Vardy’s early ball in from the right was put behind by Smith, with Begovic commanding the resulting corner.
The Cherries were then denied a stonewall penalty by the man in the middle, after Daniels was blatantly pushed off the ball inside the Foxes’ six-yard box by Ndidi. A minute later and another chance fell the visitors’ way, Stanislas bending a strike well wide of the far upright following a poor clearance from Maguire.
Claude Puel made his second change on the hour mark, introducing former Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho in place of Adrien Silva and a reshuffle in formation for the Foxes.
The attacking switch almost paid off, after a lightning break away saw Chilwell teed up 12 yards out. The full back’s effort looked destined to find the back of the net, but Steve Cook intercepted brilliantly for a corner. The set-piece was swung in, and Vardy steered a header off target.
Cook was then the Cherries’ saviour once again moments later with Vardy racing towards goal, the centre-half sliding in and robbing the forward of the ball amid claims of a foul.
Wes Morgan then headed over the crossbar after rising highest to meet Mahrez’s delivery from the right byline, before squandering another similar opportunity in the 72nd minute at the expense of a Foxes’ corner.
The delivery was greeted with a first-time effort from Maguire at the front post and, as the Cherries looked to scramble away, Iheanacho’s follow-up dropped narrowly wide of the post.
Howe then looked to regain control ten minutes before time, introducing Andrew Surman in place of Wilson.
In the closing stages, the Foxes rained a series of set-pieces into the Bournemouth penalty area and were denied superbly by Dan Gosling’s sliding interception as Mahrez fired towards goal from close range.
When Begovic clawed away Diabate’s low centre, it appeared the Cherries would be returning to the south coast with all three points.
But, in the 96th minute, Steve Cook hauled down Iheanacho and Mahrez was on hand to flash home a superb free-kick from 30 yards and rescue a late point for the Foxes.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Amartey (Chilwell, 20), Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs (Diabate, 78), James, Silva (Iheanacho, 59), Ndidi, Mahrez, Albrighton, Vardy
Unused substitutes: Hamer, Dragovic, Iborra
Bournemouth: Begovic, Smith, Francis, S. Cook, Ake, Daniels, Gosling, L. Cook, Stanislas, King (Mousset, 90), Wilson (Surman, 76)
Unused substitutes: Boruc, Defoe, Fraser, Simpson, Taylor
Referee: Lee Probert