Kevin Phillips fires Le­ices­ter to a 1-0 win at Bournemouth –

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Ian Wadley To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

LE­ICES­TER boss Nigel Pear­son watched Kevin Phillips fire the ram­pant Foxes ten points clear at the top and then urged his his­tory boys to be ruth­less in their bid to com­plete the job.

Mas­ter marks­man Phillips se­cured a hard-fought vic­tory at Bournemouth af­ter net­ting a con­tro­ver­sial 81st-minute win­ner for the Cham­pi­onship lead­ers.

The vet­eran striker had been on the pitch just eight min­utes when he re­warded Pear­son’s tac­ti­cal change by fi­nally beat­ing im­pres­sive Bournemouth keeper Lee Camp.

Phillips’ header, which was deemed to have crossed the line amid fu­ri­ous protests from the hosts, put Le­ices­ter ten points clear of near­est ri­vals QPR in the race for pro­mo­tion to the Pre­mier League.

But de­spite QPR and Burn­ley’s 3-3 draw fur­ther en­hanc­ing the Foxes’ ti­tle cre­den­tials, Pear­son re­fused to get car­ried away.

He said:“If we are go­ing to be a suc­cess this sea­son, we have to get our­selves over the line. No­body else is go­ing to do it for us.

“There is a long way to go. There are still plenty of points to play for.We would be very fool­ish to think that we are nearly there. We have to see the job through.

“If you make as­sump­tions, you are let­ting your­selves in for pos­si­ble dis­ap­point­ment. We have got to be pro­fes­sional and ruth­less be­tween now and the end of the sea­son.”

Pear­son praised Phillips af­ter the 40-year-old had fi­nally bro­ken the re­sis­tance of the Cher­ries and, par­tic­u­larly, their keeper Camp to help the Foxes seal a clu­brecord ninth suc­ces­sive league win.

The hero­ics of Camp en­sured the teams went in level at the in­ter­val af­ter the for­mer Derby and Not­ting­ham For­est man had taken cen­tre stage.

The Cher­ries keeper pro­duced an un­ortho­dox one-handed save to deny Lloyd Dyer at point-blank range be­fore twice pre­vent­ing the lively Jamie Vardy with ex­cel­lent oneon-one stops.

Bournemouth boss Ed­die Howe in­tro­duced new re­cruit Yann Ker­mor­gant, a £400,000 sign­ing from Charl­ton, and Matt Ritchie at the in­ter­val.

The changes, which also al­lowed lead­ing scorer Lewis Grabban to take a more cen­tral role, en­livened the Cher­ries. Grabban was heav­ily in­volved and his thump­ing drive had Kasper Sch­me­ichel wor­ried as it flew nar­rowly wide. But the Cher- ries were again in­debted to Camp as his stun­ning save re­pelled An­thony Knock­aert’s crash­ing header from 12 yards. As the game con­tin­ued to be­come stretched, Pear­son called on Phillips and the sub­sti­tu­tion quickly paid div­i­dends.

The for­mer Pre­mier League striker found space to meet Knock­aert’s cross at the far post and de­spite Camp get­ting a hand to it and El­liott Ward des­per­ately scram­bling on the line, the goal was awarded.

Asked about the goal, Bournemouth boss Howe said: “The play­ers felt it wasn’t. I have only had one quick look at it and it looked very close. It looked like it might have po­ten­tially been over but it was such a bad an­gle that you couldn’t tell. We have to give Le­ices­ter credit. Nine in a row is a re­mark­able achieve­ment.

“Our goal­keeper had an ex­cel­lent day in the first half when he kept us in the game.We thought that would be enough to get us a point but it wasn’t to be.

“The one-on-ones in the first half were big saves for us and gave us be­lief, go­ing into half­time, that we could get some­thing out of the game.”

Mean­while Pear­son added:“It was a shame that there was a bit of con­tro­versy sur­round­ing the goal that set­tled it but I thought, all in all, we de­served to win.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

OLD HEAD: Kevin Phillips cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing a con­tro­ver­sial late win­ner for Le­ices­ter

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