Leicester City 3:0 Arsenal
City produced a fine performance against an Arsenal side reduced to ten men at the KPS on Sunday, with an opener from Tielemans and two Vardy strikes sealing a 3-0 win…
Brendan Rodgers made one change to his side for this noon kick off, with Choudhury brought in to bolster the midfield and Gray dropped.
City looked the better side right from the start, and won a free-kick when Mustafi brought down Maddison 30 yards out . Maddison delivered the ball to Ndidi in space but he made a hash of his shot.
Four minutes later another free-kick, chipped in by Chilwell was met with a diving header from Evans, but it went straight at Leno.
A sign of how stretched Arsenal were came in the 7th minute when Maitland-Niles was booked for halting a City break by tripping Chilwell.
A minute later Maddison had a shot deflected wide as City kept the pressure up.
Play was then held up while Torreira received treatment after some superb tackling from Choudhury that had had the crowd chanting his name.
After some good work from Chilwell the ball sat up nicely for Tielemans, but he shanked his half-volley well wide.
After Ndidi was booked for a foul on Xhaka, City went close again but Tielemans effort was blocked by the advancing Leno.
It was all City at this stage, with the screens showing 82% possession, and Choudhury set up Maddison for a 20 yard shot that went inches wide of the left-hand post.
Arsenal then had their first chance of the game in the 22nd minute when Iwobi raced down the left and crossed for Lacazette, whose attempted volley went well wide.
Vardy then sent Maddison through but he opted to shoot with Albrighton in acres of space and screwed a low shot wide.
Maddison’s next shot was on target, but tipped away by Leno as the chances mounted.
From the resulting corner Ndidi nipped in front of Sokratis to head goalwards, but Leno again rescued Arsenal with a fine save.
The 31st minute saw yet another City chance when Albrighton floated a ball over the Gunners defence for Vardy who lobbed Leno but also cleared the bar by a couple of yards.
Arsenal attacks were rare, but dangerous, and in the 35th minute Aubameyang played in Iwobi one on one with Schmeichel, but the City keeper managed to block a weak shot.
A minute later Arsenal were reduced to ten men when Maitland-Niles fouled Maddison and Michael Oliver showed him his second yellow, followed by a red. A furious Arsenal bench thought Maddison had made too much of it.
The final chance of the half fell for Vardy, whose fierce shot was denied by Leno, who got down smartly to block at his near post.
City had been totally dominant against eleven men, and with Arsenal down to ten, the second half promised much.
Brendan Rodgers upped the attacking intent for the second half, bringing on Barnes for Ndidi and the one-way traffic towards Arsenal’s goal continued. Barnes had the measure of Mustafi down the left, cutting in and attempting a near post shot that didn’t catch Leno out. City were getting plenty of crosses in from both flanks but the Gunners defence were dealing with them and it looked like it could be another frustrating afternoon for while.
But City made the breakthrough in the 59th minute. Maddison swung a precise ball into the area, perfectly meeting Tielemans run and the Belgian directed a header home giving Leno no chance.
“SIGN HIM UP!” was the chant around the ground.
City continued to press forward and Sokratis was booked for a foul on Maddison, 25 yards out. Michael Oliver had to have a word with Unai Emery, who was in a gibbering rage, before Tielemans fired his free-kick into the wall.
Tempers were beginning to fray with Chilwell booked for fouling Sokratis as he threatened to break upfield and then Torreira screaming for a penalty, claiming he had been elbowed by Evans.
Tielemans then strode forward and unleashed a 25-yarder that went inches wide of the post as City looked to extend their lead. The overworked Leno made two fine saves in three seconds flying across goal to bat away shots from Ricardo and then Barnes, before Choudhury’s low shot went straight into his arms.
Play was held up after Mustafi and Chilwell clashed heads, before Brendan Rodgers brought Mendy on for Choudhury in the 79th minute. The youngster received a standing ovation for a fine afternoon’s work.
With Arsenal winning a few corners and beginning to show signs of life, City put the game to bed in the 86th minute. The coaching manual was thrown out of the window for the most direct of goals. Schmeichel launched a huge kick forward and Vardy outmanoeuvred Koscielny and Mustafi, to find himself one on one with Leno. His lob over the keeper hit the crossbar but fell nicely for him to nod home past Leno’s despairing challenge.
City continued to press forward in the five minutes time added on, and Vardy slipped a ball through to Barnes who sent his shot too close to Leno.
In the dying seconds of the game City struck again for a scoreline that reflected the game. Good work from Ricardo down the right saw him square a ball across the face of goal for an unmarked Vardy to notch his 9th goal in eight games.
It put the lid on a superb City performance, moving them up to 8th place, as Arsenal registered their lowest ever possession stats for a Premier League game.
Brendan Rodgers commented: “It was a very good performance. We didn’t waste any time today. We showed we are a good side. I thought 11 vs 11, we were the better side. When it went to 11 vs 10, we were asked a question: could we handle the extra man? Could we find a game that we understand how to play against 10 men? The players responded to that magnificently.”
Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo, Evans, Maguire, Chilwell, Ndidi (Barnes 45), Albrighton (Gray 86), Tielemans, Choudhury (Mendy 79), Maddison, Vardy.
Substitutes: Söyüncü, Iheanacho, Ward, Fuchs.
Arsenal: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Papastathopoulos, Kolasinac, Mkhitaryan (Guendouzi 73), Torreira, Xhaka, Iwobi (Koscielny 45), Aubameyang, Lacazette (Nketiah 79).
Substitutes:Cech, Elneny, Mavropanos, Willock.
Referee: Michael Oliver. Attendance: 32,037.
PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
FOX Subscriptions for 2019-20 are now available.
You can either pay online via Paypal HERE (UK price)
Or print out and fill in this form.