Date published: Sunday 25th October 2020 9:09
Jamie Vardy marked his return from injury with a late match-winning goal as Leicester sunk an under par Arsenal 1-0 at The Emirates.
Arsenal’s defence was nearly breached within 90 seconds after Bernd Leno’s insufficient clearance fell straight to James Maddison.
The England midfielder tried his luck from fully 40 yards, but his effort flew narrowly wide, much to the relief of the hastily retreating German stopper.
Alexandre Lacazette then thought he’d opened the scoring with a deft near-post header following a corner.
The flag was raised for offside, however, with former Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka penalised for obstructing the eyeline of Kasper Schmeichel.
With Leicester operating without a recognised striker and playing with three centre-halves, the game slowly began to settle into a predictable pattern.
Chances came and went for Bukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but The Foxes defence stood firm as they aimed to soak up pressure and hit back on the counter.
Arsenal have already produced more shots after 22 minutes (8) than in the entirety of their last home game (6).
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 25, 2020
In truth, lacking the pace and direct approach of Jamie Vardy, Leicester looked toothless when afforded the rare opportunity to venture forward.
Arsenal’s shooting boots remained conspicuously absent with just three of their 11 shots finding the target as the half-time whistle blew on a subdued half of football.
The second half brought about little in the way of good news for Mikel Arteta’s side, with David Luiz succumbing to injury after barely a minute.
Shkodran Mustafi replaced the Brazilian, but the match settled into a familiar pattern with the introduction of Vardy seeming to be required to spark the contest into life.
The hour mark finally signalled the veteran’s introduction from the bench after recovering from a calf injury.
Hector Bellerin appeared lucky to escape a secod yellow card after bringing James Justin down. And it was the Spaniard who came closest to breaking the deadlock in the second half moments later.
The right-back ghosted in late to meet Aubameyang’s lofted cutback. His first-time strike was firmly struck, but Schmeichel was [perfectly positioned to punch the ball to safety.
As the game appeared destined for a stalemate, Leicester burst into life and took the lead through Vardy.
Youri Tielemans’ delightful through ball set Cengiz Under away before his perfectly weighted square ball allowed Vardy to head home from close range.
⚽️ Most Premier League goals v Arsenal:
12 Wayne Rooney
11 JAMIE VARDY
10 Harry Kane, Robbie Fowler pic.twitter.com/KoytWgZc9n
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) October 25, 2020
Vardy missed a glorious chance to seal the contest in injury time, but the Foxes remained disciplined at the back as time ran out on Arsenal’s subdued efforts to salvage a point.