By 90Min
March 04, 2018

Claude Puel has hailed the last-minute equaliser from villain-turned-hero Riyad Mahrez in the 1-1 draw with Bournemouth.

Leicester were trailing the visitors thanks to Joshua King's 35th-minute opener from the penalty spot and seemed consigned to defeat on home soil until Mahrez's intervention.

The forward fired home a wonderful free kick with the lack kick of the match to hand the hosts a share of the spoils and, in an interview with BBC Sport following the clash, Puel lauded Mahrez's contribution in rescuing a result for the Foxes.


That strike was also the first the Algerian had scored since he went on strike over a failed move to Manchester City late on in the January transfer window, and Puel revealed his delight at the 26-year-old putting all of that negativity behind him to net an important goal for his side.

He said: "We know the quality of Riyad and he is a valuable player for us. It is important he stayed, we know the stories from the transfer window but he returned to the squad with a good mentality, positive attitude in training and games.

"I am happy for him, he wanted to give his best for the team until the end of the season and it is a good reward for him. In the end he made the difference.

(You may also be interested in Leicester 1-1 Bournemouth: Mahrez Nets Last Gasp Equaliser in Entertaining Draw)

"It was the last opportunity to score in the game and quality players can make the difference from these situations. Him, Jamie Vardy or any other quality players. It is a crucial point for us because we gave our best in this game."

Leicester had been banging on the door against the Cherries for much of the second half, but the away side's defence had stood firm in the face of the home onslaught.

That was until Mahrez stepped up from a set piece following a late foul, and the winger's last ditch intervention was enough to keep Leicester in the top half of the Premier League table.

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