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Leicester will celebrate 40 points with champagne - Claudio Ranieri

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri said his team will celebrate their 40-point haul in the Premier League with champagne.

After a stunning start to the season which has seen the Foxes lead the Premier League table, Ranieri has now reached his original 40-point target after just 20 matches.

And, despite a disappointing 0-0 draw against 10-man AFC Bournemouth, the Italian is in the mood to celebrate.

 "A draw is not OK as it is only one point, but it is OK as we have 40 points which was the goal -- it is champagne for my players!" he told the BBC.

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"We knew it was a difficult match and we started playing too late. Bournemouth moved the ball very quickly but in the second half we were much better."

In October, Ranieri treated his players to pizza when they kept their first clean sheet of the season, but he hoped he wouldn't have to pay for the bubbly.

"Forty points, come on. It's fantastic," he said in his news conference. "We didn't score but it's another clean sheet and champagne for my players, of course. Or maybe the chairman pays. I buy the pizza."

Ranieri then challenged his players to pick up even more points in the second half of the season than they managed during the first.

He said: "Now we must achieve the next goal and remain calm. We did 39 points in the first half [of the season] so in the second half we try to make 40 points.

"I know it's difficult but this league is crazy. We are safe so we try."

Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy and Leicester failed to score for a third straight game.

Leicester have not won for three consecutive matches, and have not scored either, but Ranieri is happy that his team are still creating opportunities.

"We hit the post, we missed a penalty and had some good chances," he added. "The performance was good, a fantastic effort. We have not scored for three games but we have had chances. Sometimes everything is right but now some things are wrong."

Referee Andre Marriner made the decision to send off Bournemouth's Simon Francis in the 57th minute.

The Bournemouth captain and Vardy chased after Danny Drinkwater's through ball, and with Vardy winning the race, Francis made a sliding challenge, bringing down the Foxes man. Television replays suggested Francis got a touch on the ball, and he protested as much, but Marriner brought out his red card and awarded the penalty.

Bournemouth will feel some justice was served as Artur Boruc, diving to his left, got two strong hands to Mahrez's spot kick.

Cherries boss Eddie Howe felt it should not have been a penalty and praised his team for the way they battled to earn a point.

"For me it's not a penalty. That was my opinion live and it still is after seeing it on the replays," said Howe. "For me, Simon has a difficult job there. Vardy has got goal side and is going towards goal at full pace. Simon has come from the side, got a clear touch on the ball and it is not a penalty, or a free kick, in my opinion.

"It's a difficult one for the referee because he only sees the player go down. But I think everyone on the other side -- the touchline side -- can see it's a clear touch on the ball.

I think when you play with 10 men for such a long spell in the game, to come away with anything is a huge result and full credit to my players for that.

"No matter how we got it, I think is definitely a point gained and I have to compliment my players."

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