Leicester 3 – 1 Bournemouth
Jamie Vardy scored twice and made the other as an impressive Leicester maintained their unbeaten Premier League start by easing past Bournemouth at King Power Stadium.
Brendan Rodgers’ side has won two and drawn two of their opening four games, showcasing their early ambitions of breaking into the top six at the end of the season with another excellent showing.
Vardy’s opener was simple, yet stunning. He latched on to Ben Chilwell’s punt into the left channel, took a touch before lobbing a perfectly-executed finish over Aaron Ramsdale.
His hard work for Youri Tielemans’ goal for 2-1 epitomised his display, rolling the ball across the six-yard box for the Belgium international to tuck home from a yard out.
Bournemouth was lacklustre at best with Callum Wilson equalising for 1-1 with their only real chance of note.
At this early stage in the season, Leicester looks well set in the third position, while Bournemouth drops to 15th.
With Manchester United, who finished sixth last season, dropping further points with a 1-1 draw at Southampton, Leicester looks like a side who could realistically claim a European spot next season.
Rodgers’ side was in control throughout the contest, with defender Caglar Soyuncu impressing once more with another assured showing at the back – the Turkey international made more passes (82) and more tackles (five) than any other player on the pitch.
In midfield, Wilfred Ndidi returned to the side and was at his destructive best once more with an all-action performance, while the ever-maturing James Maddison, called up to the England squad this week, showed his defensive capabilities by gaining possession eight times.
Leicester could have had more but Harvey Barnes and Soyuncu both curled efforts narrowly wide from promising positions.
But it was upfront where the real star of the show was for Leicester.
Rodgers has implemented a quick, passing style of play for Leicester, but the performance against Bournemouth was a throwback to the unforgettable 2015-16 season in which they famously won the Premier League title under Claudio Ranieri.
The Foxes bypassed the midfield at every opportunity, knocking the ball long towards the willing runner in Vardy in the final third. It worked a treat.
The former England international gave Cherries centre-backs Steve Cook and Chris Mepham a torrid afternoon and every chase and closing down of the defenders was roared approvingly by the boisterous home supporters.
Vardy’s opener was simple, yet stunning. He latched on to Ben Chilwell’s punt into the left channel, took a touch before lobbing a glorious finish over Aaron Ramsdale.
The visiting goalkeeper, making just his fourth top-flight appearance having spent last season on-loan at League One AFC Wimbledon, was also given an equally uncomfortable afternoon and looked extremely shaky when presented with the ball at his feet.
On one occasion, Ramsdale thought he had more time as Vardy darted into the box and stuck out a foot to a short pass, which fortunately rolled straight back into the hands of the keeper.
Vardy stung Ramsdale’s hands with a thumping drive from the edge of the area and it was his industry, not giving up on a loose ball, which allowed for the second, rolling the ball across the six-yard area for Tielemans to tuck home.
And the outstanding Vardy added to his tally in the second period by converting Tielemans’ low drive, with the home supporters left chanting their hero’s name.
Tielemans, though, looked fortunate to stay on the pitch and might not have had the chance to grab his goal after a nasty-looking over-the-top challenge onto the ankle of Callum Wilson. Despite a VAR check, Tielemans did not receive a yellow card.
Bournemouth finished 14th in the league last season, losing half of their 38 games, and this looks like being another inconsistent season for them.
Eddie Howe’s side was barely given a sniff by the hosts, former Coventry striker Wilson evading the offside trap to score just three minutes after Vardy’s opener, but they were unable to build on it.
On-loan midfielder Harry Wilson, who has made a positive start in a red-and-black shirt, failed to engineer any opportunities before being brought off on 64 minutes, while Joshua King was also quiet.
Summer signing Philip Billing and Jefferson Lerma put themselves about in the middle of the park, but Bournemouth lacks a creative spark.
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Source – BBC