Emery hanging by a thread as Arsenal undone by Vardy and Maddison
Premier League, King Power Stadium. Leicester 2 (Vardy 68', Maddison 75') Arsenal 0
Leicester made it four wins in a row and go second in the league after a dominant performance and deserved 2-0 win over a lacklustre Arsenal.
The Foxes oozed confidence in the first half but struggled to breakdown an Arsenal side set up to frustrate with three at the back. And the Gunners kept their focus well, looking to counter through a threatening front three, and came closest to taking the lead when Alexandre Lacazette shot wide from six yards with the goal gaping.
But Unai Emery’s side created problems for themselves and were lucky not to concede after a flurry of defensive errors gave both Jamie Vardy and Ayoze Perez chances that flew high and wide. Matteo Guendouzi was also fortunate not to give away a penalty after appearing to pull down Caglar Soyuncu in the box.
Wilfred Ndidi smacked the bar in the second half and for a moment Arsenal looked like they may hold on or even steal three points, but their fortunes eventually faded when Leicester made the breakthrough after another dominant spell. Some wonderful one-touch football between James Maddison, Youri Tielemans and Vardy allowed the latter a sweeping tap-in from six yards.
The visitors doubled their lead just seven minutes later, Vardy turning provider this time, teeing up Maddison outside the box to rifle home leaving Bernd Leno no chance and sending the home support into raptures.
The Foxes are now nine points clear of their top four rivals and have put down a major statement even to those chasing this year’s title. The Gunners meanwhile head into the international break without a win in four and with question marks around their manager's future.
TALKING POINT – Are Leicester in title race?
It feels like we’ve been here before. Leicester, a well-oiled, well-drilled machine, with the best defence in the league, with four wins in a row, second in the league. Can they challenge for the title? Based on this utterly professional performance, only a fool would write them off. Vardy, Maddison, Tielemans, Ndidi: these are brilliant players who would not look out of place with a trophy in their hands.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Jamie Vardy
He loves playing Arsenal, and just when it mattered he popped up with yet another goal against the Gunners. Turning provider seven minutes later, he put Arsenal to the sword. Three at the back? No problem for him.
Leicester: Schmeichel 6, Pereira 7, Soyuncu 8, Evans 7, Chilwell 6, Ndidi 8, Tielemans 8, Barnes 6, Perez 6, Maddison 8, Vardy 9. Subs: Gray 7, Praet 6.
Arsenal: Leno 6, Bellerin 4, Chambers 4, Luiz 6, Holding 5, Kolasinac 4, Guendouzi 5, Torreira 4, Ozil 4, Lacazette 6, Aubameyang 6. Subs: Pepe 5, Willock n/a.
13’ WHAT A MISS! Arsenal play through the Leicester press and it's a lovely flowing move. Left to right and Ozil surges into the Foxes box. He squares for Aubameyang whose heavy touch falls for Lacazette six yards out. The goal is gaping and his only obstacle is a sliding Evans, and somehow - somehow - the ball flies wide. Glorious chance.
50’ OFF THE BAR! Pereira pulls back for Ndidi 12 yards out - on a plate - and he absolutely smacks the bar.
56’ DISALLOWED GOAL! Aubameyang thinks he's made the breakthrough after latching on to Kolasinac's cross. The crowd shout for VAR! He's way off...
67’ GOAL! One-touch stuff, slick as you like. Maddison to Tielemans to Vardy who sweeps in at the back post from seven yards.
75’ GOAL! Another fantastic finish and a huge statement from Leicester. Vardy on the left knocks it back for Maddison who just leathers it through Kolasinac's legs and into the net. Leno had no chance.