Timothy Castagne

Arsenal Come Out On Top At King Power Stadium

Leicester City were beaten for only the third time in their previous 18 matches across all competitions after Arsenal registered a 3-1 Premier League win at King Power Stadium on Sunday.
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There were four changes to the side that lost to Slavia Prague on Thursday, with Timothy Castagne, Ricardo Pereira, Harvey Barnes and Kelechi Iheanacho returning to Brendan Rodgers’ starting XI for Sunday’s lunchtime kick-off.

It proved to be a lightning start from the Foxes, who after a tightly-contested opening five minutes took the lead. Youri Tielemans intercepted Granit Xhaka's pass on the right flank and raced into the box unchallenged before driving low beyond Bernd Leno for his sixth Premier League goal of 2020/21.

The Gunners were presented with the chance to level matters from the spot when Wilfred Ndidi appeared to trip Nicolas Pépé just inside the Leicester box, however VAR intervened and ruled the Nigerian's foul came outside the area, switching the decision to a free-kick.

On 21 minutes, a breakaway by City nearly led to Iheanacho finding strike partner Jamie Vardy, however there was a little too much power on his lofted pass, and it sailed out for a goal-kick.

Just 45 seconds later, another opportunity followed, with Leno - who had the Leicester sun beaming in his eyes - denying Academy graduate Barnes from distance with an effective parry.

Skipper Kasper Schmeichel had to be alert to a Pépé free-kick at the other end, as he punched the winger's effort clear, before Luke Thomas' goal-saving sliding tackle - almost a carbon copy of the one he performed against Aston Villa to deny Bertrand Traoré - prevented the Ivory Coast international from slotting in from inside the box.

From 30 yards, Iheanacho saw his strike held by Leno with just under 10 minutes of the first half to go, but the Gunners were on level terms not long after following a spell of pressure.

Pépé, after being fouled by Thomas, who was booked for his challenge, played a free-kick short to the feet of Willian. The attacker's delivery found fellow Brazil international David Luiz, who nodded into the bottom corner for 1-1.

And just before the fourth official's board went up to signal three minutes of stoppage time, Arsenal were awarded a penalty, following a VAR review, after Ndidi was penalised for handball. Up stepped Alexandre Lacazette, who converted into the bottom corner on the stroke of half-time. 

With work to do, Rodgers introduced winger Marc Albrighton into the action, with left-back Thomas, on a yellow card, making way for the second 45 minutes on Filbert Way.

A second substitution followed only five minutes into the second half when Barnes appeared to overstretch his knee, and had to be carried off on a stretcher. Following a period of treatment on the pitch, Cengiz Ünder was his replacement.

Two minutes later, Arsenal extended their advantage. A swift counter-attack, led by Pépé, eventually saw him round off the move after Willian squeezed a pass back into the Gunners No.19, who tapped into an open net.

City looked for a response, with Iheanacho seeing an overhead-kick cleared, while Luiz was in the way of an Albrighton cross that would have found Vardy at the far post were it not for the defender's intervention.

After taking a knock, defender Jonny Evans was next to make way, with Ghana defender Daniel Amartey coming on for the final 20 minutes plus stoppage time.

The Foxes continued to venture forward in a bid to reduce the deficit, with Albrighton next to try his luck, only for the No.11's powerful drive to be blocked deep in the Arsenal area.

On 82 minutes, Kieran Tierney sent a half-volley wide of the mark, before substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang side-footed a curling effort off target five minutes later.

During the seven minutes of added time, Schmeichel held onto a strike from substitute Thomas Partey, Leno dealt with a 25-yard curler from Ünder, Xhaka got in the way of a shot from Iheanacho, who just moments later fired over, and Amartey had a shot blocked all before the full-time whistle.

Major moment

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Youri Tielemans
Youri Tielemans

The Belgium international opened the scoring after just six minutes at King Power Stadium.

City started the match in fine fashion on Filbert Way, where Youri Tielemans' well-taken, solo strike handed the Foxes a 1-0 lead on six minutes.

They looked to be heading into the break with a one-goal lead, however Arsenal scored twice in the space of nine first-half minutes via David Luiz and Alexandre Lacazette to turn the game on its head.

Another goal, shortly after the break, made it 3-1, and the Foxes were unable to respond to Nicolas Pépé's close-range finish.

Who impressed?

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Çağlar Söyüncü
Çağlar Söyüncü

Çağlar Söyüncü wins an aerial challenge against Alexandre Lacazette.

Speaking on LCFC Radio’s Matchday Live, Matt Elliott said: “Çağlar Söyüncü did okay, I thought. After 20 or so minutes, things were going Leicester's way. It was their intent to let Arsenal have the majority of possession, but they got themselves in front."

Where do we stand?

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Cengiz Ünder
Cengiz Ünder

The Turkey winger replaced the injured Harvey Barnes with 51 minutes played in Leicester.

City remain third in the Premier League table with 49 points from 26 fixtures following their first domestic defeat in a month.

Coming up…

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Marc Albrighton
Marc Albrighton

Substitute winger Marc Albrighton had a strike blocked in the second half.

A double-header of away matches follows for City, who first head to Turf Moor to face Burnley (6pm kick-off) before taking on Brighton & Hove Albion at AMEX Stadium three days later (8pm kick-off).

All times GMT.

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