Bournemouth subject Foxes to more woes

Bournemouth midfielder Marc Pugh celebrates his 34th-minute goal against Leicester City.
Bournemouth midfielder Marc Pugh celebrates his 34th-minute goal against Leicester City.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Bournemouth handed Leicester City another Premier League wake-up call after Marc Pugh's first goal of the season condemned the champions to an eighth league defeat of the campaign on Tuesday.

Leicester's dreadful away record continues and it is now eight months since Claudio Ranieri's side tasted victory on the road in the league.

Eddie Howe, in contrast, left the field after kissing Nathan Ake, high-fiving Steve Cook and with his team eighth in the table.

It was Bournemouth's highest ever position although Watford, West Bromwich Albion, and either Southampton or Stoke City could potentially leapfrog the Cherries following this morning's (Singapore time) Premier League games.

Leicester's return of one point from their first eight away matches is the lowest total by a defending top-flight title-winning team.

After walking out onto the pitch to stretch their legs, Jamie Vardy and Marc Albrighton were soaked by the Bournemouth sprinklers.

From that moment on it was a miserable outing for Leicester, who failed to show the mettle of champions.

"We have to react, we have to be more concentrated, more determined, (to) show more willingness. We need something more - more everything," Ranieri said.

He looked as baffled as anybody by his side's mysterious away form, with their last win away from the King Power Stadium coming at Sunderland in April.

Leicester overwhelmed Pep Guardiola's Manchester City 4-2 on Saturday in a thrilling return to the form that carried them to last season's fairytale title triumph.

But Pugh marked his first start of the season with the winner to keep Leicester on 16 points.

It was not how Ranieri would have wanted to mark his 200th Premier League game as a manager.

The Italian has not seen his side win back-to-back league games since April.

From contemplating the prospect of a Champions League last 16 encounter against Sevilla, Leicester find themselves facing up to a relegation scrap.

Howe had urged his side to show no signs of a "hangover" after the defeat at Burnley on Saturday and Bournemouth were dogged yet inventive throughout on Tuesday.

"We have been in the Premier League a while but (to say we are eighth) is a nice thing," the Bournemouth manager said.

"I think the most pleasing thing is this season we have the ability to respond to setbacks very well, and that's a really good sign for the future.

"I still think there's a lot more to come and I think we are in a really good position to get better. The club's come so far so quickly I am always trying to look for the next goal and that's now to try and beat Southampton (on Sunday)."

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 15, 2016, with the headline 'Bournemouth subject Foxes to more woes'. Print Edition | Subscribe