Mitchell's verdict: Leicester City 2 AFC Bournemouth 1

KEY MOMENT: Elliott Ward is sent off at Leicester on Saturday

KEY MOMENT: Elliott Ward is sent off at Leicester on Saturday

First published in Sport
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WHAT a month for Ryan Allsop.

Dismissed, maligned, replaced and recalled, then maligned once more for good measure. All in half the time it took him to go from free agent to first choice.

Granted, it would be hard to argue that the Cherries keeper covered himself in glory for Leicester’s second and winning goal at the King Power Stadium.

Rocky was odds-on to beat City striker Jamie Vardy to Chris Wood’s through ball but the custodian’s brief lapse in belief saw him dance in no man’s land with disastrous consequences.

The pacy front-runner, plucked from Fleetwood Town was a threat all afternoon and needed no second invitation to round his rival and tuck away tidily.

Indecision is final.

To his cost, Allsop came and conquered all before him in a similar situation at Leeds which saw a borderline penalty decision given alongside an inevitable red card.

Whether that, along with the testing 25 days that followed, affected his judgment, only he knows.

But while the obvious problems magnify every error made by the young custodian, pointing the finger of blame solely at him for this defeat would be unfair, despite his admirable admission of guilt at full-time.

This was another brave display from Eddie Howe’s charges, but on the whole Cherries lacked their usual zest and swagger in attack and paid for failing to hit a strong Leicester side with their full artillery.

Chances were few and far between on a quiet day for Lewis Grabban while strike-partner Tokelo Rantie’s most fruitful work was done outside the 18-yard box.

The returning Ryan Fraser tried but tired as the match went on while Harry Arter and Jack Collison found it hard to break beyond the home side’s central-midfield pairing of Andy King and Danny Drinkwater.

And while wing wizard Marc Pugh – scorer of Cherries’ sublime first-half equaliser – was in buoyant spirits from the outset, he generally cut a frustrated figure as Leicester’s Liam Moore, the Football League’s Young Player of the Month for September, stood up to the challenge while swinging centres often went to waste.

At the other end, the pace and purpose so frequently associated with AFC Bournemouth’s open approach was on display as one of the Championship’s heavyweights flexed their muscles.

City’s Lloyd Dyer refused to give Simon Francis a moment of peace while Elliott Ward looked nervy and indecisive when faced with direct running from a fluent midfield.

As always, the effort and endeavour was there by the bucket load, an ethos encapsulated by the will to push for an equaliser after two mistakes in as many minutes had taken the game away from Cherries with Ward dismissed for upending Drinkwater moments after Allsop’s aberration.

Pugh’s purpose on the counter-attack was tempered by a bullish, pressing game that saw Leicester create the better openings during the first half.

Wes Morgan’s powerful header from Anthony Knockaert’s dinked free-kick seemed destined for the back of the net after 10 minutes but Vardy got in the way of his team-mate’s effort.

Grabban’s low drive was deflected wide by Marcin Wasilewski before Pugh’s powerful volley floored Moore, but Leicester led when Dyer’s trickery afforded him the room to find David Nugent, who steered a precise effort round his marker and low to Allsop’s left on 18 minutes.

Knockaert’s drifted cross just evaded Drinkwater and Vardy with the net gaping as City sought a second, but just as the high-flying hosts were turning the screw, Pugh’s moment of magic stunned the King Power into silence.

Fraser and Rantie teamed up to win the ball on the right flank and the South African then found the feet of his Lancastrian colleague, who followed a deft first-touch with a blistering 20-yard rocket which flew past the helpless Kasper Schmeichel.

Wasilewski was a fraction away from restoring Leicester’s lead on the stroke of half-time but just failed to connect with Knockaert’s floated free kick after Daniels had felled the Frenchman out wide.

City maintained their pressure after the restart as Ward survived a penalty shout when Vardy went sprawling, while Daniels did well to charge down efforts from the Leicester striker and Knockaert.

But the all-important second came when substitute Wood, whose physical presence was a constant thorn in Cherries’ side, provided the ammunition from deep, bustling past Arter and Collison to set up Vardy’s decisive strike.

And the game was soon up when Ward, booked in the first half for a foul on Dyer, blocked the driving run of Drinkwater and received his second booking.

Try as they might, 10-man Cherries made little headway while pushing for another leveller.

Wayward efforts from Rantie rarely looked like troubling Schmeichel while substitute Jeff Schlupp and Dyer could have made the last few minutes more comfortable for Leicester.

Allsop’s mistake certainly caught the eye, but he was not alone in not finding his best form against a side seeking a place in the Premier League. It would have taken a few more top performances to take something from this significant test.

 

Star man - Marc Pugh

Confidence was clearly coursing through Pugh’s veins after last Saturday’s last-ditch equaliser at Nottingham Forest and it could have been a similar story in the East Midlands once more.

Whether he was crossing or cutting inside, he proved a real handful for Liam Moore who had it all on to keep tabs on his man.

Not many get the better of Kasper Schmeichel in such spectacular fashion and, had his colleagues found the same form on the day, Cherries may have upset one of the fancied sides again.

Match facts

Cherries: Allsop 5.5, Francis 6, Ward 5, Cook 6.5, Daniels 6 (Thomas, 80), Fraser 6 (Pitman, 57), Arter 5.5, Collison 6, Pugh 7*, Grabban 6 (Elphick, 68), Rantie 6.5.
Unused subs: Surman, Harte, O’Kane, Jalal (g/k).

Booked: Ward, Daniels.

Sent off: Ward.

Foxes: Schmeichel, Moore, Morgan, Wasilewski, Konchesky, Knockaert, King (Hammond, 87), Drinkwater, Dyer, Vardy (Schlupp, 86), Nugent (Wood, 52).
Unused subs: James, Taylor-Fletcher, Miquel, Logan (g/k).

Booked: Vardy.

Referee: Andy Davies (Hampshire).

Attendance: 23,357.

Comments (9)

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2:10am Mon 28 Oct 13

RED LETTER DAY says...

. . WARD was already on a yellow card when he kicked the ball away in a dead ball situation. . . . He was lucky he did not get sent off by the ref earlier. . . WHAT a let down.
. . WARD was already on a yellow card when he kicked the ball away in a dead ball situation. . . . He was lucky he did not get sent off by the ref earlier. . . WHAT a let down. RED LETTER DAY
  • Score: 7

5:03am Mon 28 Oct 13

the amazon returns again says...

Aslop is not good enough for this league - period, he will continue to cost us points, that's a NO NO in the championship. Eddie get another keeper and pronto, it isn't quantum physics or Disney Land son
Aslop is not good enough for this league - period, he will continue to cost us points, that's a NO NO in the championship. Eddie get another keeper and pronto, it isn't quantum physics or Disney Land son the amazon returns again
  • Score: -8

5:12am Mon 28 Oct 13

ASM says...

Glad to see pugh and rantie linking up well on saturday. Rantie can tear defences apart, but sometimes tries and does too much and runs himself into defenders feet, he is learning and the goals will come eventually. Rantie hasn't played many home games and when he did play he wasn't fit. We've had a tough run in of fixtures, but this season to our credit we always come up big in the important games like Millwall, Doncaster, Charlton (the potential six pointers if we are in the bottom half later on in the season).
Except maybe at huddersfield where I fancied us to get something they haven't disappointed me once this season, it's been brilliant so far.
Allsop could benefit with a loan away, he has been rushed into championship football. We need a real quality keeper, apart from that it will be interesting to see if Howe decides to bring anyone else in this year.
UTC & chin up Rocky - what did Rocky do against Dulph Lungren??? he fought back and won - I hope Allsop shuts everyone up and proves me wrong
Glad to see pugh and rantie linking up well on saturday. Rantie can tear defences apart, but sometimes tries and does too much and runs himself into defenders feet, he is learning and the goals will come eventually. Rantie hasn't played many home games and when he did play he wasn't fit. We've had a tough run in of fixtures, but this season to our credit we always come up big in the important games like Millwall, Doncaster, Charlton (the potential six pointers if we are in the bottom half later on in the season). Except maybe at huddersfield where I fancied us to get something they haven't disappointed me once this season, it's been brilliant so far. Allsop could benefit with a loan away, he has been rushed into championship football. We need a real quality keeper, apart from that it will be interesting to see if Howe decides to bring anyone else in this year. UTC & chin up Rocky - what did Rocky do against Dulph Lungren??? he fought back and won - I hope Allsop shuts everyone up and proves me wrong ASM
  • Score: 7

8:51am Mon 28 Oct 13

susi.m says...

the amazon returns again wrote:
Aslop is not good enough for this league - period, he will continue to cost us points, that's a NO NO in the championship. Eddie get another keeper and pronto, it isn't quantum physics or Disney Land son
Who do you suggest then?
[quote][p][bold]the amazon returns again[/bold] wrote: Aslop is not good enough for this league - period, he will continue to cost us points, that's a NO NO in the championship. Eddie get another keeper and pronto, it isn't quantum physics or Disney Land son[/p][/quote]Who do you suggest then? susi.m
  • Score: 0

9:01am Mon 28 Oct 13

gbzpto says...

susi.m wrote:
the amazon returns again wrote:
Aslop is not good enough for this league - period, he will continue to cost us points, that's a NO NO in the championship. Eddie get another keeper and pronto, it isn't quantum physics or Disney Land son
Who do you suggest then?
To be fair we did have a replacement but he got injured. I am sure Eddie is chasing someone else
[quote][p][bold]susi.m[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]the amazon returns again[/bold] wrote: Aslop is not good enough for this league - period, he will continue to cost us points, that's a NO NO in the championship. Eddie get another keeper and pronto, it isn't quantum physics or Disney Land son[/p][/quote]Who do you suggest then?[/p][/quote]To be fair we did have a replacement but he got injured. I am sure Eddie is chasing someone else gbzpto
  • Score: 0

9:17am Mon 28 Oct 13

abc100 says...

gbzpto wrote:
susi.m wrote:
the amazon returns again wrote: Aslop is not good enough for this league - period, he will continue to cost us points, that's a NO NO in the championship. Eddie get another keeper and pronto, it isn't quantum physics or Disney Land son
Who do you suggest then?
To be fair we did have a replacement but he got injured. I am sure Eddie is chasing someone else
Shay given
[quote][p][bold]gbzpto[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]susi.m[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]the amazon returns again[/bold] wrote: Aslop is not good enough for this league - period, he will continue to cost us points, that's a NO NO in the championship. Eddie get another keeper and pronto, it isn't quantum physics or Disney Land son[/p][/quote]Who do you suggest then?[/p][/quote]To be fair we did have a replacement but he got injured. I am sure Eddie is chasing someone else[/p][/quote]Shay given abc100
  • Score: 0

11:41am Mon 28 Oct 13

Doddler says...

gbzpto wrote:
susi.m wrote:
the amazon returns again wrote:
Aslop is not good enough for this league - period, he will continue to cost us points, that's a NO NO in the championship. Eddie get another keeper and pronto, it isn't quantum physics or Disney Land son
Who do you suggest then?
To be fair we did have a replacement but he got injured. I am sure Eddie is chasing someone else
I do hope you're right - and that Eddie is chasing another keeper. We badly need one. I've said before that Ryan Allsop will make a good stopper - but he's not there yet. No doubt he was distracted on Saturday by his experience of being sent off at Leeds but he must learn to tread a fine line with his decision making. Frozen is not an option! Excellent though he was in League One, he has not been good enough in the Championship. A step too far? Maybe, maybe not, but he needs match time to iron out the wrinkles - but I don’t think this league is the place for him to learn better decision making. Perhaps a time out on loan at an appropriate club might be an answer?

And on the question of sendings off, Elliott Ward should be ashamed of his on Saturday - especially as he was extremely fortunate not to have suffered the same fate earlier. He’s not my favourite player, but even being objective, that was simply not good enough for the team, the supporters or himself. - and much the same could be said of Richard Hughes against Blackburn Rovers.

So let’s hope we can play more complete matches with 11 men - including an experienced goalkeeper.
[quote][p][bold]gbzpto[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]susi.m[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]the amazon returns again[/bold] wrote: Aslop is not good enough for this league - period, he will continue to cost us points, that's a NO NO in the championship. Eddie get another keeper and pronto, it isn't quantum physics or Disney Land son[/p][/quote]Who do you suggest then?[/p][/quote]To be fair we did have a replacement but he got injured. I am sure Eddie is chasing someone else[/p][/quote]I do hope you're right - and that Eddie is chasing another keeper. We badly need one. I've said before that Ryan Allsop will make a good stopper - but he's not there yet. No doubt he was distracted on Saturday by his experience of being sent off at Leeds but he must learn to tread a fine line with his decision making. Frozen is not an option! Excellent though he was in League One, he has not been good enough in the Championship. A step too far? Maybe, maybe not, but he needs match time to iron out the wrinkles - but I don’t think this league is the place for him to learn better decision making. Perhaps a time out on loan at an appropriate club might be an answer? And on the question of sendings off, Elliott Ward should be ashamed of his on Saturday - especially as he was extremely fortunate not to have suffered the same fate earlier. He’s not my favourite player, but even being objective, that was simply not good enough for the team, the supporters or himself. - and much the same could be said of Richard Hughes against Blackburn Rovers. So let’s hope we can play more complete matches with 11 men - including an experienced goalkeeper. Doddler
  • Score: 1

1:56pm Mon 28 Oct 13

bobsworthforever says...

What about Joe Hart he could be looking for a job next Saturday
What about Joe Hart he could be looking for a job next Saturday bobsworthforever
  • Score: 0

4:24pm Mon 28 Oct 13

ducky24 says...

abc100 wrote:
gbzpto wrote:
susi.m wrote:
the amazon returns again wrote: Aslop is not good enough for this league - period, he will continue to cost us points, that's a NO NO in the championship. Eddie get another keeper and pronto, it isn't quantum physics or Disney Land son
Who do you suggest then?
To be fair we did have a replacement but he got injured. I am sure Eddie is chasing someone else
Shay given
Shay Given! Get him in!
[quote][p][bold]abc100[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gbzpto[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]susi.m[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]the amazon returns again[/bold] wrote: Aslop is not good enough for this league - period, he will continue to cost us points, that's a NO NO in the championship. Eddie get another keeper and pronto, it isn't quantum physics or Disney Land son[/p][/quote]Who do you suggest then?[/p][/quote]To be fair we did have a replacement but he got injured. I am sure Eddie is chasing someone else[/p][/quote]Shay given[/p][/quote]Shay Given! Get him in! ducky24
  • Score: 0

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