Bournemouth came from behind to thrash 10-man Leicester City and boost their hopes of avoiding relegation from the Premier League.
In a calamitous two minutes, the Foxes threw away a 1-0 lead as Junior Stanislas scored from the spot, Dominic Solanke put the hosts in front and Caglar Soyuncu was sent off.
The Foxes defender kicked Callum Wilson as Bournemouth celebrated their second goal.
Jamie Vardy had put the visitors ahead with his 23rd goal of the season and Leicester looked in control.
But Kasper Schmeichel blasted a goal kick at team-mate Wilfred Ndidi, who then brought Wilson down in the box and Stanislas converted.
Moments later, Solanke fired the hosts in front and Leicester found themselves a man down after Soyuncu’s reaction.
A shot from Stanislas found the net via a big deflection off Jonny Evans and Solanke scored his second to give the Cherries their first win in 10 games.
It keeps Bournemouth three points from safety, after wins for West Ham and Watford on Saturday, while Leicester remain fourth.
Cherries stun Foxes in second-half blitz
It was a bad weekend for Bournemouth before they even kicked a ball and looked like getting worse an hour into proceedings at Vitality Stadium.
The Cherries found themselves six points adrift of West Ham and Watford, while Aston Villa’s victory against Crystal Palace saw Eddie Howe’s side drop to 19th in the table.
They then gifted Leicester a goal after 23 minutes as Dan Gosling gave the ball away and Lloyd Kelly made a mess of clearing Kelechi Iheanacho’s cross to allow Vardy to pounce.
It looked like Leicester were going to cruise to three points until Schmeichel’s error allowed Stanislas to level from the spot on 66 minutes.
Suddenly Bournemouth were a changed side, and Solanke slotted his first Premier League goal for the club one minute and 41 seconds later.
Strike partner Wilson shoved Soyuncu as the pair tussled to collect the ball from the net and the Foxes defender was shown a straight red card for kicking out.
From there, Bournemouth were relentless as Leicester fell apart.
Evans could do little to stop Stanislas’ effort deflecting off his ankle and wrong-footing Schmeichel, before Solanke added his second after some smart footwork late on.
The Cherries remain three points behind Watford and West Ham, who face each other next, but their first win since February keeps Howe’s side in the fight.
|Still to come…|
|West Ham||Watford (H)||Man Utd (A)||Aston Villa (H)|
|Watford||West Ham (A)||Man City (A)||Arsenal (A)|
|Bournemouth||Man City (A)||Southampton (H)||Everton (A)|
|Aston Villa||Everton (A)||Arsenal (H)||West Ham (A)|
Leicester stall in Champions League race
Leicester will leave the south coast not knowing what has hit them.
The Foxes, having only won once since the restart, looked to be on their way to a significant three points in their bid for a Champions League spot before Bournemouth’s revival.
Vardy will not score many scrappier goals than his opener, sliding in to bundle the ball over the line and put himself three goals clear in the race for the Golden Boot.
At that point, Brendan Rodgers’ side looked set to move two points above Chelsea into third.
Leicester could have been out of sight before Bournemouth levelled from the spot, with Cherries defender Nathan Ake making a superb block from Vardy and injuring himself in the process.
Schmeichel took responsibility for his mistake afterwards, acknowledging it “changed the game completely”, but there were plenty of culprits in blue shirts as Leicester collapsed.
The Foxes will be following the outcome of Manchester City’s appeal against their European ban with interest when the decision is announced on Monday, which if upheld would bring fifth place into play in the Champions League race.
Leicester have let the likes of Manchester United and Wolves back into the chase and host Sheffield United next, when defeat would also see the Blades move within two points of them.
Man of the match – Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth)
‘If you think about what’s at stake you lose focus’
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live: “It was a game of two halves today. A difficult first half. We found it difficult to get any kind of foothold and everything was the reverse in the second half.
“The goals always change games and we haven’t scored enough of them recently. It was probably the first time in a long time where we’ve had some luck.”
On Dominic Solanke’s two-goal performance: “I thought he was very good today. He took his goals very well, both showed his qualities. I always believe Dominic is going to be a massive player for us in the future and that will do his confidence the world of good.
“Dominic is a very unique player, he has attributes we really like and value and I think he’s done very well mentally to make sure outside noise doesn’t affect him.”
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers on BBC Radio 5 live: “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.
“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.
“If you think about what is at stake you have lost your focus.”
Cherries finally mount a comeback – the stats
- Bournemouth 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, as many defeats as in their previous 20 such matches.
- Bournemouth scored four goals in a Premier League game for the first time since April 2019 (5-0 versus Brighton).
- Bournemouth 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).
- Leicester’s Vardy has scored in 16 Premier League games this season (23 goals), only Southampton’s Danny Ings (17 games) has scored in more
- Leicester’s Soyuncu was the first Turkish player to be sent off in a Premier League game since Tugay for Blackburn versus Man City in September 2007.
Bournemouth visit Manchester City on Wednesday (18:00 BST), while Leicester host Sheffield United on Thursday (18:00).