Eddie Howe championed Bournemouth’s “heroic” defence after they held on to a 1-0 win at home to Premier League champions Leicester City on Tuesday.
The visitors went into the contest on the back of a fine 4-2 victory over Manchester City, suggesting they were getting back to the standard that saw them remarkably clinch the Premier League title last season.
But Leicester were given a reality check at the Vitality Stadium, looking toothless in attack and devoid of craft in midfield, with Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy – confirmed as seventh and eighth, respectively, in the 2016 Ballon d’Or on Monday – particularly ineffective.
Howe was quick to put Leicester’s struggles down to his team’s brilliant performance, though.
He told Sky Sports: “It didn’t feel anything like routine. It was dramatic playing the champions, we know their qualities and the lads did particularly well.
“It was a heroic defensive display. I thought we were magnificent in that respect.
“It’s important to bounce back in this league because there will be moments when you don’t get what you want.”
Claudio Ranieri was adamant that the result was harsh on Leicester, though, and gave a positive appraisal of their overall performance.
“The result is too severe against us because we created more chances than Bournemouth,” the Italian added. “I wanted a little more. A little more and we can score goals, recover more second balls.
“The second half was much better. They scored when we deserved to score a goal. The team is alive and that is important for me.
“If we continue to fight at this level, sooner or later we will get a good result.”
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