Bournemouth and Leicester City’s difficult starts to the Premier League season continued as they played out an uninspiring 0-0 draw at the Vitality Stadium.
The Cherries dominated for large swathes of the game and will be disappointed not to have claimed all three points after carving out a number of excellent opportunities.
The best of them fell to Jermain Defoe in just the second minute as he crashed a shot against the crossbar, while Marc Pugh thought his side should have had a penalty when Danny Simpson blocked his goal-bound effort with his arm from the rebound.
Leicester offered little going forward, but could have snatched just their second league win of the campaign through Shinji Okazaki in the second half – the Japan international firing wide with only Asmir Begovic to beat.
— AFC Bournemouth (@afcbournemouth) 30 September 2017
Bournemouth started at a blistering pace and had two golden opportunities to take the lead inside the opening five minutes.
The first fell to Defoe as he thumped a close-range shot against the crossbar from Josh King’s teasing cross. Pugh’s follow-up effort appeared to hit Simpson’s hand on its way towards an empty net, but referee Graham Scott remained unmoved by the midfielder’s protestations.
Pugh was involved again shortly after as he met Defoe’s pull back just inside the area. He failed to make a clean connection, though, and his shot bobbled harmlessly past Kasper Schmeichel’s right-hand post.
Bournemouth’s dominance continued and they should have broken the deadlock midway through the opening period when King met Pugh’s pull back 12 yards out, but like his team-mate’s earlier chance, the Norwegian scuffed his shot wide with the goal at his mercy.
Pugh’s action-packed first half showed no sign of slowing down as he then drilled narrowly over after Wes Morgan’s clearance had fallen to him inside the area.
Craig Shakespeare introduced Vicente Iborra at the break in a bid to prevent his side being overrun in midfield, but it did little to quell the incessant tide of Bournemouth attacks.
Junior Stanislas was the next to come close, firing a low shot from outside the area that Schmeichel got down well to hold.
Leicester had to wait until just before the hour for their first chance and it should have seen them take an undeserved lead.
Marc Albrighton’s deep cross fell to the feet of Okazaki just 10 yards out, but the striker inexplicably sent his shot wide of the target.
Pugh was back in the action again shortly after as he arrowed a long-range strike just past Schmeichel’s post, before Lewis Cook sent a dipping effort over.
An uncharacteristically quiet Jamie Vardy thrashed wide late on for Leicester, which was a fitting end to a game desperately lacking in quality.
Key Opta stats:
– Bournemouth are unbeaten in all five Premier League meetings with Leicester City, although four have ended level (W1 D4 L0).
– Leicester City have won just five points from seven games so far this season, their joint-lowest return at this stage of a Premier League campaign alongside 1994-95, 2001-02 and 2003-04.
– The Cherries kept their first Premier League clean sheet in 10 matches, since a 1-0 win over Sunderland in April.
– Leicester have won just once in their last 10 Premier League matches under Craig Shakespeare (W1 D3 L6), this after winning seven of the first 10 under his stewardship.
– Jermain Defoe (29) had fewer touches of the ball than any other Bournemouth outfield player to start this match – he wasn’t able to hit the target with a shot, either.
– Bournemouth have won just four points from their seven Premier League games this term, fewer than in both 2015-16 (7) and 2016-17 (8) at this stage of the season.
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