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Leicester City 1 Bournemouth 1: Vardy ensures Foxes end champions season with a draw

Goal.com logo Goal.com 21-05-2017

Leicester City's season as Premier League champions went out in nostalgic fashion as Jamie Vardy got the goal to seal a 1-1 draw against Bournemouth.

In a match that had all the hallmarks of a typical end-of-season affair amid bright skies at the King Power Stadium it was the visitors that went in front inside the first minute.

Junior Stanislas was the beneficiary of some slack Leicester defending to slot home a third goal in as many games.

The home fans may have feared a repeat of the midweek 6-1 capitulation against Tottenham when Kasper Schmeichel had to brilliantly claw away Dan Gosling's fierce strike.

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But Vardy, whose 13 league goals pale in comparison the crucial 24 he netted last season, scored a scrappy second-half leveller to earn a draw.

Vardy saw another goal ruled out for offside and Islam Slimani missed a gilt-edged chance late on, but a 12th-place finish will be a huge relief to Leicester in a season that for long periods had threatened to end in relegation, although it represents the worst defence to a Premier League title.

For Bournemouth, Eddie Howe and his team can reflect on a job well done after ensuring a top-half finish in just their second season in the top flight, pipping West Brom for ninth.

Among a clutch of clubs who chased eighth into the final day, ultimately topped by Southampton, Bournemouth struck first, taking less than a minute to find the opener.

Lys Mousset made a nuisance of himself down the left and from there a combination of shoddy Leicester defending and lucky bounces left Stanislas with a simple eight-yard finish under Schmeichel.

On several occasions the visitors had chances to double their lead, but lacked composure in the final third, although Gosling was unlucky that his 20-yard thunderbolt was denied by a brilliant one-handed Schmeichel save.

Leicester finished the opening half strongly, though, and Yohan Benalouane saw a close-range effort deflected wide, while great defending by Steve Cook and Charlie Daniels denied Riyad Mahrez and Vardy respectively.

And the Foxes were level six minutes after the restart.

Ben Chilwell's deep cross from the left was headed back across goal by Slimani and Vardy was on hand to bundle home.

The England striker thought he had scored again on the hour. Vardy showed great spirit to hold off two challenges and find Slimani, before receiving the ball back and slotting into the goal - only to be harshly adjudged offside.

Vardy was now a constant menace and, after being slipped in by Mahrez, forced a fingertip save from Ryan Allsop.

Bournemouth's third-choice goalkeeper made another decent stop to tip Vardy's reaction header over the top as Leicester pressed for a winner.

It was Slimani that squandered the best chance in the closing stages, though, the Algeria international heading wide unmarked from Mahrez's teasing free-kick.

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