Leicester City 2:5 Arsenal
City’s unbeaten run came to an end at the hands of an impressive Arsenal side at the KPS on Saturday afternoon…
Claudio Ranieri made one change to his starting XI with Albrighton in for Inler.
Arsenal made a worryingly easy breakthrough early on but Ramsey’s shot was blocked by Huth and Cazorla’s follow-up saw a well placed De Laet clearing off the goal line.
City than had a couple of chances: Schlupp’s shot being well saved by Čech, before Vardy’s low drive took a slight deflection which saw it hit the foot of the right hand post.
Vardy converted his next chance, in the 13th minute. Kante won the ball from Ramsey in City’s area and fed it to Drinkwater, who sent Vardy in down the right. A good first touch with his head saw him cutting in towards goal before sending a superb finish round Čech.
City almost went two goals ahead five minutes later, but Vardy’s header from an Albrighton cross hit the crossbar.
Arsenal then swept upfield and Walcott was sent clear of the defence by Cazorla and his low finish past Schmeichel, crept just inside the far post.
There was a controversial moment leading up to the Gunners taking the lead in the 33rd minute. As City broke forward both Okazaki and Vardy were brought down but referee Pawson waved play on. Bellerín then raced down the right flank and delivered a low cross that reached Sánchez at the far post, and he slotted home from close in to give Arsenal the lead.
The ref then further enraged the home crowd when Okazaki was dragged over by Mertesacker, but loud appeals were once again ignored.
Ranieri brought King on for Okazaki for the second half, though it didn’t really work for City who couldn’t match some of their fine first half play.
Arsenal were looking very strong and extended their lead in the 57th minute when a clever lob from Özil teed up Sánchez for a header past Schmeichel from close in.
Ulloa then came on for Albrighton and he set up a chance for King who missed the target with an ambitious drive.
Kramarić entered the fray in place of Drinkwater, but the Gunners further extended their lead with ten minutes remaining.
Sánchez made some room for himself on the edge of the area, before sending a precise shot low to Schmeichel’s right.
City pulled a goal back in the 89th minute when Kramarić was denied by Čech but Vardy was on hand to curl home a fantastic effort.
But any thoughts of yet another comeback were dismissed when Arsenal broke again and Monreal set up Giroud for the visitor’s fifth.
City’s unbeaten record was over, but surely Arsenal announced their title ambitions with a superb display of football.
Ranieri said of his players: “They showed the maximum character. I understand it’s difficult to play a team who use one or two touches. It’s impossible, when you go to press they move the ball very quickly. The quality of the Arsenal players is a very high level. We tried to do our best and created good chances, some were unlucky, and it’s important how we react in the next match.”
Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet, Huth, Morgan, Schlupp, Kanté, Drinkwater (Kramarić 78), Mahrez, Albrighton (Ulloa 64), Okazaki (King 46), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Schwarzer, Simpson, Inler, Dodoo.
Arsenal: Čech, Bellerín, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Ramsey (Oxlade-Chamberlain 77), Özil, Cazorla, Flamini (Arteta 21), Sánchez, Walcott (Giroud 80). Subs Not Used: Debuchy, Gibbs, Ospina, Chambers
Referee: C Pawson. Attendance: 32,047 (3,350).
ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber
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