Bournemouth kept their Premier League survival hopes alive after coming from behind to beat Champions League-chasing Leicester 4-1 at the Vitality Stadium.
Jamie Vardy’s first-half strike (23) had put Leicester on course for all three points but a bizarre passage of play in the second half saw Bournemouth turn the game completely on its head.
Kasper Schmeichel’s poor goal-kick was the start of Leicester’s downfall as Wilfred Ndidi brought down Callum Wilson in the penalty area before Junior Stanislas converted from the penalty spot (66).
There were just 101 seconds between substitute Junior Stanislas netting Bournemouth’s equaliser from the penalty spot and Dominic Solanke putting the Cherries 2-1 up.
A minute later, things went from bad to worse for the visitors as Dominic Solanke’s shot crept into the back of the net (67) before Caglar Soyuncu received a straight red card for kicking out at Wilson as the striker attempted to retrieve the ball.
Bournemouth made the game safe inside the final 10 minutes as Jonny Evans’ own goal (83) and Solanke’s second of the night (87) sealed what could be a crucial three points for Eddie Howe’s side, who are now three points adrift of safety with three games to play.
Leicester could drop out of the top four for the first time since September if Manchester United beat Southampton on Monday night, live on Sky Sports (kick-off 8pm).
In Pictures: How Leicester fell apart in two minutes
How Bournemouth fought back to stun Leicester
Leicester broke the deadlock after 23 minutes and it was Premier League top goalscorer Vardy who profited from yet more poor Bournemouth defending.
Kelechi Iheanacho fired a shot from the left side of the area as Bournemouth goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale rushed out to close down the striker. The effort beat Ramsdale but was going wide of the far post, however, the recovering Lloyd Kelly could not clear and Vardy pounced, bundling the ball home from close range to score his 23rd goal of the season.
Vardy then had the chance to add his second of the evening when Arnaut Danjuma’s pass back landed at the feet of the striker. He shifted the ball onto his left foot before getting a shot away, but Nathan Ake’s last-ditch block spared Bournemouth’s blushes.
It was Ake’s last involvement in the game as the Dutchman picked up an injury in making the superb block and Leicester almost capitalised in stoppage-time as Christian Fuch’s cross evaded the unmarked Vardy and Evans at the far post.
Bournemouth: Ramsdale (7), Stacey (6), Kelly (6), Ake (6), Rico (7), Lerma (6), Gosling (5), Brooks (7), Solanke (8), Danjuma (5), C Wilson (7).
Subs: S Cook (6), Stanislas (7), Billing (7), L Cook (n/a), Surridge (n/a).
Leicester: Schmeichel (5), Justin (6), Soyuncu (5), Evans (6), Fuchs (6), Ndidi (6), Tielemans (6), Albrighton (6), Perez (7), Iheanacho (6), Vardy (7).
Subs: Bennett (6), Praet (6), Barnes (6).
Man of the match: Dominic Solanke.
Things were starting to look bleak for Bournemouth, who brought on Philip Billing and Stanislas at the break as Howe looked for a response from his side. And a response is what he got as Howe’s men turned the game in their favour during a bizarre spell in which Leicester were also reduced to 10 men.
Stanislas equalised from the penalty spot after Wilson was dragged down by Ndidi following Schmeichel’s awful goal-kick.
Solanke’s shot then crept through the legs of the Leicester goalkeeper and into the back of the net to give the striker his first Premier League goal since his £19m move from Liverpool.
To cap a frantic 101 seconds, Leicester defender Soyuncu was shown a straight red card in the aftermath of the second goal for kicking out at Wilson as he attempted to retrieve the ball.
- Bournemouth were without injured forward Joshua King for their crucial clash with Leicester. Norway international King was ruled out of the game due to a minor hamstring problem, with Dominic Solanke taking his place. Jack Stacey and Arnaut Danjuma were also recalled as Cherries boss Eddie Howe made three changes from the team which drew with Tottenham.
- Leicester made one change, with Christian Fuchs replacing Ryan Bennett in defence.
Things then went from bad to worse for the visitors as Bournemouth stretched their lead seven minutes from time as Stanislas’ strike across goal took a big deflection off Evans to wrong-foot Schmeichel.
Solanke added a fourth three minutes from time to make sure of the points, poking the ball between the legs of Schmeichel and into the back of the net.
Man of the Match – Dominic Solanke
Eddie Howe on Solanke: “He deserves great credit. I’ve always believed that Dom’s an outstanding player, he’s got a lot of expectation on his shoulders and rightly so because he’s an outstanding player, technically very good, he’s very intelligent and I do think there are a lot of goals in him. I think he’s proved that today because it was two really good finishes, both totally different, but he’s a player we totally believe in.”
Solanke scored his first Premier League goals for Bournemouth in this game in what was his 39th appearance in the competition for Bournemouth.
What the managers said…
Bournemouth boss Howe: “It was a difficult game for us, I have to credit Leicester with how they played in the first half. We were in a really difficult situation at half-time, they’d played well, and we hadn’t. We obviously needed to change things at half-time and just had a mentality that we went for the game and gave everything in that second half to try and get a result. Thankfully, we were able to swing the game around.
“We’re in there [with a chance of surviving]. It’s still going to be difficult but we’re in there fighting and we’ll continue to do that right until the end. I’ve always believed the players are good enough to get the results we need, probably for the first time tonight in a long time, we’ve had a bit of luck to go with a lot of work that went into the match. Hopefully that can give us the lift we need for the remaining three games.”
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers: “I didn’t see that coming but we are not good enough to get too comfortable. We were in control of the game, Bournemouth changed their shape and you expect a 10-minute spell when you are up against it. But we let them into the game with a penalty and I was very disappointed with how we played from there. It’s not like us, we are a team that is strong mentally and we don’t concede many goals.
“I’ve always said it’s a dream for us to finish in the top four, but we have to worry about playing well. At the moment, since we came back, we have been playing for 45 minutes in games and that’s not enough. We will finish where we deserve to.”
Opat stats – Cherries back to winning ways
- Bournemouth have picked up their first Premier League victory since February (2-1 versus Aston Villa), ending their nine-game winless run in the competition.
- Leicester have lost two of their last three Premier League games against sides starting the day in the relegation zone (W1), as many defeats as in their previous 20 such matches.
- Bournemouth have scored four goals in a Premier League game for the first time since April 2019 (5-0 versus Brighton). They have won a Premier League game after trailing at half time for the first time since August 2018 (versus West Ham) – the Cherries were winless in their last 28 matches in which they had trailed at the break prior to today (D2 L26).
- Bournemouth are the first side in Premier League history to concede 60+ goals in five consecutive seasons (2015/16 – 2019/20).
Bournemouth travel to Manchester City on Wednesday (6pm), live on Sky Sports, and then host Southampton (Sunday July 19, kick-off 2pm), before concluding their season with a visit to Everton (Sunday July 26, kick-off 4pm).
Meanwhile, Leicester entertain Sheffield United on Thursday, live on Sky Sports (6pm), before facing Tottenham at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday July 19 (kick-off 4pm), also live on Sky Sports. They then bring their campaign to a finish by hosting Manchester United on Sunday July 26 (kick-off 4pm).