Leicester City 3 Arsenal 0: 10-man Gunners slip to third straight defeat after Vardy double

Arsenal's top-four hopes suffered another blow after Leicester City took advantage of Ainsley Maitland-Niles' dismissal on Sunday.

Published : Apr 28, 2019 18:50 IST

Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Granit Xhaka and Laurent Koscielny look dejected following Arsenal's defeat to Leicester City.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Granit Xhaka and Laurent Koscielny look dejected following Arsenal's defeat to Leicester City.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Granit Xhaka and Laurent Koscielny look dejected following Arsenal's defeat to Leicester City.

Ten-man Arsenal slipped to a third consecutive Premier League loss as Jamie Vardy's late brace sealed Leicester City's 3-0 win at the King Power Stadium. 

Defeats to Crystal Palace and Wolves in the past week had already damaged the Gunners' hopes of securing a top-four spot but their latest reverse against the Foxes now means they could end the day four points shy of the Champions League qualification places, if Chelsea overcomes Manchester United.

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Arsenal was on the backfoot from the outset and its cause was made even more challenging when Ainsley Maitland-Niles received a second yellow card in the 36th minute for a late challenge on James Maddison. 

The Leicester midfielder was the provider when Youri Tielemans opened the scoring with powerful header shortly before the hour, while Vardy struck in the 86th minute and stoppage time.

Brendan Rodgers' side dominated early on – going close through Jonny Evans and Maddison – but it was Arsenal who carved out the first clear opportunity as Alexandre Lacazette bundled wide from 12 yards midway through the first half. 

Gunners goalkeeper Bernd Leno produced a superb save to keep out Wilfred Ndidi's header, while Vardy clipped over the crossbar after being played through by Marc Albrighton.

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Kasper Schmeichel repelled Alex Iwobi's low shot with his foot before Maitland-Niles received his marching orders. 

Leno was again called into action before the break, getting down quickly to paw away Vardy's instinctive effort. 

Leicester continued to press when the action resumed and were rewarded after 59 minutes when Maddison's whipped cross from the right was emphatically headed home by Tielemans.

The Belgian whipped wide soon after before Leno produced excellent stops in quick succession to deny Ricardo Pereira and substitute Harvey Barnes.

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A flagging Arsenal capitulated during the closing stages, allowing Vardy to plunder his 17th and 18th Premier League goals of the campaign. 

He nodded in when his initial lob over Leno had bounced back off the crossbar before sealing a miserable day for Emery's side deep into stoppage time, tapping home from close range after impressive play from Pereira. 

What does it mean? Arsenal woeful, Leicester on the right track 

Arsenal was rotten and can consider itself fortunate to still be in with a faint shot of qualifying for next season's Champions League. A team that defends like this should have no right to be challenging for a top-four spot, but if Chelsea fails to win at Old Trafford later on Sunday, it will still be in with a chance. 

Leicester, meanwhile, is in the hunt for a seventh-place finish and potential Europa League spot. Rodgers has shown enough in his short stint to suggest that there is plenty for the Foxes' faithful to look forward to in the 2019-20 campaign. 

Tielemans a cut above 

The on-loan Monaco midfielder looks a class act and thoroughly deserved his opening goal. Arsenal had no answer to his pace and movement and the Foxes will desperately hope they can tie him down on a permanent deal at the end of the campaign. 

Maitland-Niles' recklessness proves costly 

The 21-year-old showed all his inexperience, lunging into Maddison after carelessly losing possession in the middle of the pitch. Expect some of Arsenal's more senior players to have a quiet word in his ear. 

What's next? 

Leicester could derail Manchester City's title bid when it travels to the Etihad Stadium next Monday, while Arsenal has a Europa League semifinal first leg at home to Valencia to look forward to on Thursday. 

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