Sunday 18 August 2019

Wilshere pulls the strings as Bournemouth burst Leicester's Ballon

Bournemouth 1 Leicester 0

Bournemouth's Jack Wilshere in action with Leicester City's Robert Huth Picture: Reuters
Bournemouth's Jack Wilshere in action with Leicester City's Robert Huth Picture: Reuters

After the switchback frolics of their victory over Liverpool, this was an altogether tougher proposition.

The roar that signalled Bournemouth's win over the belligerent, battling champions was one of mighty relief. Three points can rarely have been as tough in the acquisition.

Leicester arrived on the south coast buoyed by their magnificent victory over Manchester City. Confidence was further enhanced by the fact they boasted not one but two players who this week were voted into the Ballon d'Or's world top 10.

And after no more than a couple of minutes, the pair had combined, Riyad Mahrez putting a signature through-ball for Jamie Vardy, who was denied by Artur Boruc.

After nine minutes, they were at it again, Vardy once more latching on to a Mahrez pass, this time gliding past Boruc. But he was obliged to go too wide, allowing Steve Cook to slide in and intercept his shot.

That, though, was the sum of Leicester's threat in the first half.

Bournemouth seized control. Progressive and quick, the home side had accrued 252 passes in first 27 minutes; in the same period Leicester managed just 64.

And Jack Wilshire's guile was at the heart of everything. Intelligent, unfussy, prepared to do the dog work, he was playing much deeper than he normally does.

With Leicester's defence slow and cumbersome, Wilshire and Bournemouth kept probing. Eventually, it happened and Simon Francis and Adam Smith combined in a sweeping kove which ended with Marc Pugh volleying home the winner.

Irish Independent

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