Leicester City 0 AFC Bournemouth 0: Mahrez penalty miss costs hosts


Riyad Mahrez missed a penalty as Leicester City lost ground at the top of the Premier League by being held to a 0-0 draw by 10-man AFC Bournemouth.

Josh King headed wide from a great Bournemouth chance, while Jamie Vardy hit the post for Leicester in an end-to-end first half.

The hosts were much stronger after the break, but Mahrez's spot-kick was saved by Artur Boruc after Simon Francis had been sent off for a challenge on Vardy.

Despite their numerical advantage, Leicester could not find a winner, as they failed to score or win for the third consecutive match.

Claudio Ranieri's men now trail leaders Arsenal by two points, while Bournemouth - who have only lost one of their last eight games - extend their cushion over the bottom three to four points.

Both teams made one change, as Leonardo Ulloa replaced Gokhan Inler, with the hosts reverting to 4-4-2, while the away side brought in Junior Stanislas for Marc Pugh.

Leicester had the first chance of the match when Mahrez impressively met Marc Albrighton's deep cross and diverted an acrobatic effort just over, but it was the visitors who should have taken an early lead.

After Stanislas had diverted Francis' cross back across goal, King only had Kasper Schmeichel to beat, but he did not get enough on his header and failed to find the target as a golden opportunity went begging.

Leicester responded strongly and soon struck the woodwork, with Vardy unlucky not to net his first goal of 2016. Ulloa gathered a second ball and scuffed a shot towards goal that fell into the path of Vardy. The England striker took a good touch to get the ball out of his feet and looked destined to score but saw his toe-poked shot cannon off the inside of the post and away to safety.

Poor finishing was the only factor preventing goals in an end-to-end first half and Bournemouth wasted another opening prior to half-time when King showed speed and persistence down the right to create a clear opening for Dan Gosling, but the unmarked midfielder fired his shot over from 12 yards.

Boruc was tested for the first time early in the second half when Vardy latched on to Albrighton's long ball and saw his powerful effort from the edge of the box tipped wide. Defender Wes Morgan then missed a brilliant chance from the resulting corner, firing over with his left foot from inside the six-yard box.

Leicester continued to press and they won a penalty in the 57th minute when Danny Drinkwater's precise throughball sent Vardy in on goal but he went down under Francis' challenge just inside the area. The defender was sent off by referee Andre Marriner despite appearing to get a touch on the ball, but Mahrez saw his spot-kick beaten away by Boruc, who threw himself to his left.

Even though Schmeichel was not tested at the other end, 10-man Bournemouth saw out the closing stages in reasonable comfort to secure a valuable point - although Vardy had a late claim for a second penalty turned down by Marriner after tangling with the legs of Gosling in the corner of the box.