Goalless at Leicester, Arsenal defeat Newcastle

Riyad Mahrez missed a penalty as Leicester City lost ground at the top of the Premier League by being held to a 0-0 draw by 10-man AFC Bournemouth while Laurent Koscielny netted the only goal for Arsenal as they defeated Newcastle.


Riyad Mahrez missed a penalty to win the match for Leicester.

Riyad Mahrez missed a penalty as Leicester City lost ground at the top of the Premier League by being held to a 0-0 draw by 10-man AFC Bournemouth.

Josh King headed wide from a great Bournemouth chance, while Jamie Vardy hit the post for Leicester in an end-to-end first half. The hosts were much stronger after the break, but Mahrez's spot-kick was saved by Artur Boruc after Simon Francis had been sent off for a challenge on Vardy.

Despite their numerical advantage, Leicester could not find a winner, as they failed to score or win for the third consecutive match. Claudio Ranieri's men now trail leaders Arsenal by two points, while Bournemouth - who have only lost one of their last eight games - extend their cushion over the bottom three to four points.

Both teams made one change, as Leonardo Ulloa replaced Gokhan Inler, with the hosts reverting to 4-4-2, while the away side brought in Junior Stanislas for Marc Pugh.

Leicester had the first chance of the match when Mahrez impressively met Marc Albrighton's deep cross and diverted an acrobatic effort just over, but it was the visitors who should have taken an early lead.

After Stanislas had diverted Francis' cross back across goal, King only had Kasper Schmeichel to beat, but he did not get enough on his header and failed to find the target as a golden opportunity went begging.

Leicester responded strongly and soon struck the woodwork, with Vardy unlucky not to net his first goal of 2016. Ulloa gathered a second ball and scuffed a shot towards goal that fell into the path of Vardy. The England striker took a good touch to get the ball out of his feet and looked destined to score but saw his toe-poked shot cannon off the inside of the post and away to safety.

Poor finishing was the only factor preventing goals in an end-to-end first half and Bournemouth wasted another opening prior to half-time when King showed speed and persistence down the right to create a clear opening for Dan Gosling, but the unmarked midfielder fired his shot over from 12 yards.

Boruc was tested for the first time early in the second half when Vardy latched on to Albrighton's long ball and saw his powerful effort from the edge of the box tipped wide. Defender Wes Morgan then missed a brilliant chance from the resulting corner, firing over with his left foot from inside the six-yard box.

Leicester continued to press and they won a penalty in the 57th minute when Danny Drinkwater's precise throughball sent Vardy in on goal but he went down under Francis' challenge just inside the area. The defender was sent off by referee Andre Marriner despite appearing to get a touch on the ball, but Mahrez saw his spot-kick beaten away by Boruc, who threw himself to his left. Vardy had a late claim for a second penalty turned down by Marriner after tangling with the legs of Gosling in the corner of the box.

>Leicester City 0 - 0 Bournemouth (Match Centre)

Arsenal win to cement place on top

Laurent Koscielny netted the only goal of the game as Arsenal went two points clear at the top of the Premier League with a less than convincing 1-0 victory over struggling Newcastle United on Saturday.

Koscielny, along with Nacho Monreal and Mathieu Flamini, was one of three Arsenal changes from the 2-0 win over AFC Bournemouth last time out and the France defender's 72nd-minute effort proved decisive at Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech - who set a new Premier League record of 170 clean sheets in the success over Bournemouth - showed his class once again, superbly denying Georginio Wijnaldum on three occasions prior to Koscielny's winner.

The breakthrough came following a corner, with Koscielny on hand to prod home from close range from Olivier Giroud's header.

Defeat means Newcastle - who warmed up with t-shirts adorned with the message 'Pavel is a Geordie' following the death of their former keeper Pavel Srnicek earlier this week - see their winless run extended to four matches.

Steve McClaren will likely be encouraged by his side's spirited performance, although they remain in the bottom three, while Arsenal took advantage after Leicester City could only draw 0-0 with Bournemouth.

The home side began brightly and carved out the opening chance in the second minute when Hector Bellerin got away down the right, but his firm cutback was stabbed wide by a stretching Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

After weathering an early storm, Newcastle gained a foothold in the game and Cech was forced to keep out Wijnaldum's header low to his right before gathering Jack Colback's follow-up.

Newcastle began to play with a confidence that belied their lowly league placing, but Arsenal continued to look dangerous and the visitors needed a timely block from Fabricio Coloccini to stop Giroud's shot following Oxlade-Chamberlain's clever pass.

Newcastle's threat remained - Cech saving comfortably from Aleksandar Mitrovic's overhead kick before the goalkeeper had to rush from his line to deny Wijnaldum with half-time approaching.

Three minutes after the restart, Wijnaldum had a glorious chance to break the deadlock when played through with just Cech to beat, but once again the former Chelsea star came out on top, producing a fine save with his legs.

Newcastle went close again a minute later when Moussa Sissoko's cross was cushioned across goal by Ayoze Perez, where Mitrovic could only divert the ball over off his knee. Chancel Mbemba headed wide midway through the half and Newcastle were made to pay for their profligacy 18 minutes from time as Koscielny got free at the back post to turn the ball home.

A Mitrovic header flew over as Newcastle went in search of an equalizer before Rob Elliot kept out Aaron Ramsey – who shot wide soon after – as Arsenal earned themselves some breathing space at the top of the table.

>Arsenal 1 - 0 Newcastle (Match Centre)

Other results:

>West Bromwich Albion 2 - 1 Stoke City (Match Centre)

>Norwich 1 - 0 Southampton (Match Centre)

>Sunderland 3 - 1 Asto Villa (Match Centre)

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :