MATCH REPORT: Leicester City 3-1 Arsenal

Ten-man Arsenal were defeated once more on the road, as a second-half Jamie Vardy penalty and a late Riyad Mahrez finish gave Leicester City all-three points in a 3-1 win for the Premier League.

The visitors were left with an uphill battle early on, as Kelechi Iheanacho opened the scoring in the 14th minute before nabbing a red card out of Konstantinos Mavropanos a minute later.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang then equalised for the Gunners early in the second period, but a Vardy’s strike from the spot and Mahrez’s cool finish late on prolonged Arsenal’s dismal away from come full-time.

The Gunners maintained a strong XI for the trip to the King Power Stadium, surprising only with the starts handed to Danny Welbeck, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Rob Holding.

Arsène Wenger’s men looked to carry on from their fine display at home to Burnley with a positive start versus the Foxes, as Alex Iwobi forced Eldin Jakupovic into action in the 7th minute with a curling effort pushed wide.
Leicester offered a fierce reply, initiated by Vardy’s strike in the 13th minute before Iheanacho was able to place the hosts ahead, as he drilled in Fousseni Diabate’s knock-down on the half-volley.
Matters complicated themselves further for Arsenal following the restart, with Iheanacho again in the thick of things when bettering Mavropanos to race through on goal, leaving the Greek defender resigned to bringing the ex-Manchester City attacker down and receiving a red-carded.
Leicester continued to knock on the visitors’ door, with Arsenal requiring Petr Čech to deny a couple of attempts from Harry Maguire and Iheanacho, as the game reached the half-hour mark.
In Arsenal’s best move of the half, Henrikh Mkhitaryan neared an equaliser in the 34th minute when seeing his strike from inside the box being pushed just wide of the target.
From the subsequent corner, his ex-Borussia Dortmund teammate, Aubameyang, also came close to biting back for the north Londoners with a toe-poke deflected away from goal, as the two sides departed the half to a 1-0 score line.
It was Arsenal again who started brightest in the second half via Sead Kolasinac’s wicked volley from inside the box, with the Bosnian hitting the face of the post before Leicester could clear their lines.
Good work from Vardy gifted Diabate the time and space to hurt Arsenal on the counter-attack in the 47th minute, but Shkodran Mustafi remained alert by covering Čech and stopping the Ligue 2 import’s strike on the line.
The visitors were soon handed their just reward for attacking with intent, as Maitland-Niles escaped his man down the byline to feed Aubameyang inside the box, who’d thump home the equaliser at the second time of asking.
Vardy stepped up to undo all of Arsenal’s good work in the 75th minute, however, as Mkhitaryan arrived late in his challenge on Demarai Gray inside the box to gift Leicester a penalty.
The English striker made no mistake up against Čech from the 12-yard-mark, propelling the Foxes back in front with his well-hit penalty.
Mahrez made it 3-1 in the 88th minute, utilising his composure to manoeuvre around Rob Holding and Čech before burying his finish, as Arsenal returned to north London with yet another away defeat.
By Patrick Ribeiro
Player Ratings: Petr Čech (7) – Ainsley Maitland-Niles (7), Rob Holding (5), Konstantinos Mavropanos (4), Sead Kolasinac (6) – Aaron Ramsey (6), Granit Xhaka (7) – Henrikh Mkhitaryan (7), Alex Iwobi (6), Danny Welbeck (4) – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (7)
Subs: Shkodran Mustafi (5), Eddie Nketiah (-)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s