Jamie Vardy

Vardy Brace Sinks 10-Man Arsenal

A commanding and convincing performance from Leicester City yielded a 3-0 Premier League victory over Arsenal at King Power Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
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Academy graduate Hamza Choudhury was handed his first start under Brendan Rodgers, replacing winger Demarai Gray in the only change from the XI that drew 2-2 at West Ham United last weekend.

Early opportunities for Jonny Evans, Youri Tielemans and James Maddison set the tone for an entertaining and exciting afternoon on Filbert Way for the Blue Army.

While Alexandre Lacazette volleyed wide from an Alex Iwobi cross, it was City who looked most likely to open the scoring as Bernd Leno pulled off two fine stops to deny Maddison and then Wilfred Ndidi.

An action-packed five minutes followed, as Jamie Vardy lifted a strike over Leno’s bar, Kasper Schmeichel denied Iwobi with an excellent save and Ainsley Maitland-Niles was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

Boasting 73 per cent possession in the first period, Rodgers then introduced Academy graduate Harvey Barnes after the interval, as City went in search of a crucial opener to break the deadlock.

That goal arrived on 59 minutes, courtesy of Belgium international midfielder Tielemans, who headed in James Maddison’s pin-point cross to score his third goal for the Football Club.

From then on, it would be a matter of applying impressive game management to ensure the Gunners didn’t find a way back into the encounter, and while they threatened in stages, the Foxes continued to attack Arsenal’s frail back line.

Tielemans curled wide of the mark with 17 minutes to play, before Leno saved from Ricardo Pereira and Choudhury to keep the scoreline at 1-0.

However, when Schmeichel played a long ball into the path of Vardy, it exposed Arsenal’s two centre-backs. The No.9 first hit the crossbar before heading home the rebound to double the hosts’ advantage with four minutes to play.

Substitute Barnes, who scored his first Premier League goal for City last time out, forced another stop from Leno, who made nine saves throughout the afternoon at King Power Stadium.

In the fifth minute of stoppage time, though, Vardy scored his 18th goal of the season to help City record their fifth Premier League win in seven outings, tucking away Ricardo Pereira’s delivery to the back post.

Major moment

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Youri Tielemans
Youri Tielemans

Youri Tielemans scored his third Premier League goal for Leicester City after heading in James Maddison's cross.

As City experienced during their narrow 2-1 loss to Southampton earlier this year, facing a side with 10 men for a significant period of time can be a difficult challenge.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ dismissal on 36 minutes changed Arsenal’s approach to the game, with Unai Emery introducing Laurent Koscielny at half-time to shore up his side’s defence.

It was pivotal for City to maintain their tempo after the interval, and when James Maddison picked out Youri Tielemans, the dynamic central midfielder scored an all-important opener.

Who impressed?

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Hamza Choudhury and Ben Chilwell
Hamza Choudhury and Ben Chilwell

Hamza Choudhury and Ben Chilwell - two Academy graduates - celebrate at the final whistle.

One of three Academy graduates to grace the King Power Stadium pitch on Sunday, combative midfielder Hamza Choudhury put in a sterling display against the Gunners.

As he had done earlier in the campaign during the wins over Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton, Choudhury played his part in a memorable triumph against one of England’s elite outfits.

It was no surprise that when he came off with 11 minutes to play, he was given a standing ovation by the King Power Stadium crowd.

Where do we stand?

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Kasper Schmeichel
Kasper Schmeichel

Kasper Schmeichel's long ball set up Jamie Vardy for Leicester City's second goal of the afternoon.

City’s 15th Premier League win of the season sees them move up two positions to eighth in the table with only two games to play.

They have collected 51 points from 36 fixtures and sit three points behind seventh-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Coming up…

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Ricardo Pereira
Ricardo Pereira

Portugal international Ricardo Pereira registered his eighth assist of the 2018/19 campaign against Arsenal.

Leicester City head to Etihad Stadium on Monday 6 May to face title-chasing Manchester City in their penultimate fixture of 2018/19 (8pm BST kick-off). The Foxes beat Pep Guardiola’s men 2-1 on Boxing Day thanks to goals from Marc Albrighton and Ricardo Pereira.

Leicester City Crest

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