Thursday 13 December 2018

Late goal not enough to satisfy Puel as Leicester draw with Bournemouth

Mahrez gets hosts a Premier League point.

Claude Puel was disappointed to only pick up one point
Claude Puel was disappointed to only pick up one point

By Sean Taylor, Press Association Sport

Leicester manager Claude Puel was pleased not to lose at home to Bournemouth but felt a point from the 1-1 draw was not enough as their European aspirations fade further.

The Foxes are without a Premier League win in over a month since beating Watford 2-0 at the King Power Stadium on January 20.

They looked destined to lose for the third time since that home victory on Saturday when Josh King put Bournemouth in front from the penalty spot after 35 minutes.

Puel’s side came close to an equalising goal on several occasions in the second half and it looked like the Cherries would hang on. However, Riyad Mahrez had other ideas and deep into injury time the Algerian curled a 25-yard effort around the defensive wall and into the bottom corner of the net.

With Burnley beating Everton 2-1 in the day’s early kick-off, Leicester lose more ground in the race to finish seventh and are three points behind the Clarets, who they play at Turf Moor next month.

“It was crazy in the second half with all the chances we had to score,” said Puel.

“I think we deserved something from the game but one point is not enough for us. I am pleased with the spirit and the mentality of the team.

“We tried until the end but it is not good for the points – but for the momentum it is important. We must continue to play as we did in the the second half in the future.”

Mahrez scored his first goal since January’s transfer saga over his protracted move to Manchester City and Puel underlined the midfielder’s continued importance to the Leicester team.

“Of course Riyad is an important player for us, we know the story of the transfer window,” said the Frenchman.

“He is important to the squad and and I am happy for him. He wanted to give his best for the team until the end of the season and he is a very important player for us and he makes a difference.”

The late equaliser was difficult for Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe to stomach after seeing his team come from two goals down last weekend to draw at home to Newcastle.

The 40-year-old said: “It’s a difficult one for us to take. The boot was on the other foot for us last week when we came back but with seconds left in the game, and having done so well up to then, it’s tough.

“Obviously I’m disgusted to see the goal go in from that far out but it’s taken some quality to score from there. There’s some positives to take in the way we’ve defended and I felt we deserved some luck, but it wasn’t to be.

“On the bright side, it’s another point added to the one we got last week, which we thought we wouldn’t get.”

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