Leicester 1-3 Arsenal: Gunners comeback stuns Foxes

David Luiz heads in for Arsenal at Leicester
Luiz’s goal was his first in the Premier League for 16 months

Leicester’s increasingly forlorn-looking pursuit of Premier League leaders Manchester City suffered a big blow as Arsenal came from behind to claim an impressive victory at the King Power Stadium.

On a miserable afternoon at the end of a dire week for the Foxes, they also had influential winger Harvey Barnes carried off on a stretcher with his leg in a brace to add to their already considerable injury problems.

Things had started well for the hosts, who were given an early tonic for their midweek Europa League exit as Youri Tielemens was allowed to run unchecked down the right before firing a low shot into the far corner with just six minutes played.

Arsenal refused to be adversely affected, though, and took control of the game with impressive attacking intent and far greater fluency than Leicester.

David Luiz brought them level, finding space in the box to steer a header in from Willian’s free-kick.

Alexandre Lacazette then put them ahead after the video assistant referee (VAR) judged that Wilfred Ndidi had blocked Nicolas Pepe’s shot in the box with an outstretched arm.

It was second time lucky for the Gunners, who had earlier had a penalty awarded on the pitch but then downgraded to a free-kick after VAR decided the offending tackle on Pepe had taken place just outside the area.

Ivory Coast forward Pepe got in on the act himself, tapping into a largely unguarded net after Willian’s pass had deflected his way.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta actually chose to rest a number of key players on Sunday, including Bukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, whose late winner had won their Europa League tie against Benfica on Thursday.

However, it came at a potential cost, though, with Emile Smith Rowe – such a bright spark in recent months – having to leave the field injured in the first half.

The Foxes’ sixth home loss of the campaign leaves them 10 points behind a Manchester City side who have won their past 20 games.

Arsenal move up to ninth, eight points off the top four but with a renewed interest in events above them in the table.

Arsenal’s season salvation job continues

In naming a stronger side on paper for the Europa League tie against Benfica and resting key players at the King Power, Arteta appeared to be suggesting that success in Europe represented his side’s best route back into the Champions League.

That may still be the case, but what the Spaniard and his squad proved on Sunday is that they are far more capable than they have demonstrated for much of this season.

Granted, they got off to an appalling start, practically waving Tielemens in for his early opening goal.

But they did not allow the incident to alter the gameplan – one designed to sensibly take the game to Brendan Rodgers’ side.

They fashioned the better chances over the 90 minutes as a result.

Aside from the goals, Willian fired a low shot just past the post, Luke Thomas’s superb sliding tackle denied Pepe from close range and substitute Aubameyang curled a shot narrowly wide late on.

With eight points and four other teams between themselves and fourth-placed West Ham, a late dart for the Champions League places remains a long shot for the Gunners, but with big players firing and talent in reserve they are in a good place to challenge for their ultimate goal.

Injuries undermining Leicester challenge

Leicester’s own team selection is becoming increasingly a case of whoever is fit and available.

Having rested some players for the disappointing midweek defeat by Slavia Prague, the Foxes were back to the best they could muster, but this still meant the absence of Wesley Fofana, fellow defender James Justin and, most importantly, James Maddison.

The England midfielder’s creative energy was noticeably missing on Sunday, with Kelechi Iheanacho failing replicate it as his replacement.

When Barnes – the only man to really test Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno aside from Tielemens – departed on a stretcher, he stripped the Foxes of further attacking spark, making the martialling of Jamie Vardy a much easier job for the Gunners.

Leicester have points in the bank, but Rodgers now faces a challenge to ensure his side can rediscover some momentum and avoid slipping late out of the Champions League qualification places as they did last season.

Gunners reverse recent form against Foxes – best of the stats

  • Arsenal ended a four-game winless run against Leicester in the Premier League, picking up their first victory against them since October 2018.
  • Leicester have lost consecutive matches for the first time since December, while they last lost two in a row at home in October.
  • The Foxes have lost their last two league home games in which they have scored the opening goal.
  • This was Arsenal’s first away victory against a team starting the day in the top three of the Premier League table since January 2015 – they were winless in their past 14 such games before Sunday.
  • Arsenal’s Pepe has already equalled his league goal tally from last season of five but in 13 fewer appearances.
  • Lacazette has converted all five of his penalties for Arsenal, while only Aubameyang (13) has now netted more goals for the Gunners than the France forward this term.
  • Tielemans has scored six league goals for Leicester this season, as many as he had in his first two campaigns at the club combined.
  • Luiz and Willian are just the second Arsenal duo to combine for a league goal for the Gunners and another side in the division (Chelsea), after John Hartson and Ian Wright (West Ham).

What’s next?

Leicester face a tricky trip to Burnley on Wednesday for an 18:00 GMT kick-off. Coincidentally, that is also the next fixture facing Arsenal, who travel to Turf Moor next Saturday (12:30).

Player of the match

TierneyKieran Tierney

with an average of 7.88

Leicester City

  1. Squad number8Player nameTielemans

    Average rating

    5.02

  2. Squad number15Player nameBarnes

    Average rating

    4.85

  3. Squad number1Player nameSchmeichel

    Average rating

    4.69

  4. Squad number4Player nameSöyüncü

    Average rating

    4.49

  5. Squad number27Player nameCastagne

    Average rating

    4.46

  6. Squad number6Player nameEvans

    Average rating

    4.45

  7. Squad number11Player nameAlbrighton

    Average rating

    4.39

  8. Squad number21Player nameRicardo Pereira

    Average rating

    4.36

  9. Squad number19Player nameÜnder

    Average rating

    4.24

  10. Squad number18Player nameAmartey

    Average rating

    4.23

  11. Squad number9Player nameVardy

    Average rating

    4.23

  12. Squad number25Player nameNdidi

    Average rating

    4.17

  13. Squad number14Player nameIheanacho

    Average rating

    4.15

  14. Squad number33Player nameThomas

    Average rating

    3.97

Arsenal

  1. Squad number3Player nameTierney
    Average rating

    7.88

  2. Squad number19Player namePépé
    Average rating

    7.72

  3. Squad number9Player nameLacazette
    Average rating

    7.58

  4. Squad number23Player nameDavid Luiz
    Average rating

    7.43

  5. Squad number12Player nameWillian
    Average rating

    7.36

  6. Squad number18Player namePartey
    Average rating

    7.24

  7. Squad number11Player nameØdegaard
    Average rating

    7.13

  8. Squad number14Player nameAubameyang
    Average rating

    7.00

  9. Squad number32Player nameSmith Rowe
    Average rating

    6.91

  10. Squad number34Player nameXhaka
    Average rating

    6.90

  11. Squad number22Player nameMarí
    Average rating

    6.82

  12. Squad number1Player nameLeno
    Average rating

    6.82

  13. Squad number17Player nameCédric Soares
    Average rating

    6.81

  14. Squad number25Player nameMohamed Elneny
    Average rating

    6.59

Line-ups

Leicester

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 27Castagne
  • 6EvansSubstituted forAmarteyat 69′minutes
  • 4Söyüncü
  • 33ThomasBooked at 38minsSubstituted forAlbrightonat 45′minutes
  • 21Ricardo Pereira
  • 25Ndidi
  • 8TielemansBooked at 72mins
  • 15BarnesSubstituted forÜnderat 51′minutes
  • 14Iheanacho
  • 9Vardy

Substitutes

  • 11Albrighton
  • 12Ward
  • 18Amartey
  • 19Ünder
  • 20Choudhury
  • 24Mendy
  • 28Fuchs
  • 46Daley-Campbell
  • 50Tavares

Arsenal

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Leno
  • 17Cédric Soares
  • 23David Luiz
  • 22Marí
  • 3TierneyBooked at 90mins
  • 25ElnenySubstituted forParteyat 66′minutes
  • 34Xhaka
  • 19Pépé
  • 32Smith RoweSubstituted forØdegaardat 42′minutes
  • 12Willian
  • 9LacazetteSubstituted forAubameyangat 84′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Bellerín
  • 7Saka
  • 8Ceballos
  • 11Ødegaard
  • 14Aubameyang
  • 16Holding
  • 18Partey
  • 33Ryan
  • 35Martinelli

Referee:
Paul Tierney

Match Stats

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Leicester City 1, Arsenal 3.

  2. Second Half ends, Leicester City 1, Arsenal 3.

  3. Attempt blocked. Daniel Amartey (Leicester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Marc Albrighton.

  4. Attempt missed. Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high following a corner.

  5. Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Cédric Soares.

  6. Attempt blocked. Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Marc Albrighton.

  7. Kieran Tierney (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  8. Foul by Kieran Tierney (Arsenal).

  9. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  10. Attempt saved. Thomas Partey (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Willian.

  11. Kieran Tierney (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Foul by Cengiz Ünder (Leicester City).

  13. Attempt missed. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Thomas Partey.

  14. Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Foul by Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City).

  16. Substitution, Arsenal. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang replaces Alexandre Lacazette.

  17. Attempt missed. Kieran Tierney (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right following a corner.

  18. Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Daniel Amartey.

  19. Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Wilfred Ndidi.

  20. Attempt blocked. Thomas Partey (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Willian.

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