Leicester City 2-0 Arsenal
Leicester City climbed up to second place in the Premier League tonight with an impressive second-half display to see off Arsenal.
Brendan Rodgers’ side started the game six points ahead of the Gunners and had a chance to put a huge amount of daylight between the top four and the rest. And two goals courtesy of Jamie Vardy and James Maddison have stretched the gap close to double figures.
Champions League football will surely be in their grasp if they carry on like this. The Foxes were unchanged from the team which won impressively at Crystal Palace last week. But Arsenal head coach Unai Emery made three changes to his 11.
Notably, Hector Bellerin made his first start since January and Mesut Ozil kept his league spot as his boss begins to show more faith in the playmaker.
But after an encouraging first half, the Gunners were blown away in the second as their miserable run away from home continues.
We’ll have to see where we are after tomorrow’s Premier League 2019 results, but for now, Leicester can only see Liverpool when they look upwards.
Highlights of the game
In dreadful conditions, the rain swept across the Midlands as both teams came out with attacking intent.
Alexandre Lacazette had two good chances. He curled the first one wide and the other was blocked. The blocked shot broke to Mesut Ozil, but he shot tamely at Kasper Schmeichel.
Leicester came close when Ayoze Perez fizzed in a low cross, but Callum Chambers got a crucial touch just as Jamie Vardy prepared to pounce at the far post.
Harvey Barnes had a great chance to break the deadlock a minute before the break, but he seemed to lose sight of the Ben Chilwell’s cross and the ball bounced off his head and wide.
The Foxes almost broke the deadlock early in the second half when Ricardo Pereira burst down the right and reached the byline before pulling the perfect ball back to Wilfred Ndidi. But the midfielder’s shot crashed against the crossbar when he should have scored.
And then, as the game began to open up, Aubameyang finished off a sweeping Arsenal move with a low shot beyond Schmeichel, but his effort was flagged for offside.
As Leicester piled forward, Demarai Gray cut in from the right before unleashing a powerful shot which Bernd Leno saved.
But the deadlock was finally broken on 68 minutes. It was that man Vardy who rounded off a smart interchange of passes with a clinical finish to make it 11 goals for the season.
The arch poacher is in the form of his life, and if he keeps scoring there will be few teams who can live with Leicester.
The Foxes sniffed blood and Vardy stung Leno’s palms with a searing drive. He was then the man to tee up Maddison, who hit a beauty of a shot low into the bottom left corner, giving Leno no chance.
The Foxes came into this match as clear favourites having won their last four home fixtures, and here at SBOBET, we predicted a difficult evening for the Gunners. But the visitors gave their fans plenty of encouragement until two second-half goals in quick succession took the game away from them.
That makes it six wins in seven for Leicester and one in seven for Arsenal.
It was Unai Emery’s 50th Premier League game in charge, and none have been goalless. But the depressing statistic for the boss is that his team has registered just two clean sheets on the road in 25 attempts.
The Gunners’ defence must be sick of the sight of Jamie Vardy; the current Premier League top scorer has bagged nine goals in nine league starts against Arsenal.
After the international break, Leicester have a trip to the South Coast to take on Brighton. The Seagulls have made a good start to the campaign under new boss Graham Potter.
Next up, the Gunners have a home game against Southampton, which they should win. The Saints are in deep relegation trouble already having lost three on the run, including a 9-0 humiliation at home to the Foxes.
With the Premier League 2019 betting odds on making a top-four place looking very unfavourable, the Europa League is important for Arsenal this season, and they host Eintracht Frankfurt at the end of the month, before visiting bottom club Norwich City in the league.
Three wins will make things look a little brighter for Emery.
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