Brendan Rodgers

City Lose Out To Arsenal On Filbert Way

Leicester City fell to a 2-0 defeat by Arsenal at King Power Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
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Manager Brendan Rodgers made nine changes to the side which booked a Carabao Cup Quarter-Final tie away at Liverpool with a penalty shootout victory over Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday. Defenders Çağlar Söyüncü and Luke Thomas were the only players to remain in the XI.

Before kick-off on Filbert Way, to mark the Club's Annual Remembrance Fixture, a two-minute silence was held upon the sounding of The Last Post to commemorate the sacrifices of servicemen and women in conflicts past and present.

After dominating the first five minutes, the Gunners led through Gabriel's glancing header from an Emile Smith Rowe corner. Kasper Schmeichel then had to be alert to stop a low drive from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Denmark international was also able to deny Thomas Partey from range.

Jonny Evans, on the other hand, put in a crucial interception to prevent Alexandre Lacazette's low cross from reaching Aubameyang.

It was 2-0 to the north Londoners on 18 minutes as the ball fell for Smith Rowe to curl it powerfully into the bottom corner from just inside the 18-yard box.

After such a frustrating opening, Leicester tried to build some momentum midway through the half. Their first major foray into the Gunners' area saw Youri Tielemans attempt to thread a ball into Jamie Vardy, but Aaron Ramsdale raced out to seize the ball before City's No.9 could get there.

Kelechi Iheanacho, on the other hand, elected to shoot from 25 yards out, forcing Ramsdale into a laudable diving stop to tip the ball around the post. Things lulled from thereon in for a lengthy spell, before an extraordinary passage of play somehow ended with the scoreline remaining unchanged.

James Maddison's free-kick was near perfect, curling into the top corner. Ramsdale, though, flew across his line to make a brilliant fingertip save, nudging the ball onto the crossbar. The ball was still alive, however, and Evans was onto it quickly, but Partey was able to scramble it off the line.

Rodgers' response at the interval was to bring Harvey Barnes and Ademola Lookman on, replacing Daniel Amartey and Iheanacho. Naturally, Leicester had more width in the early parts of the second half, with Barnes knocking Vardy's cross wide of Ramsdale's far post on 52 minutes. 

It was so nearly 2-1 seconds later, too, as Tielemans squeezed a pass through to Thomas. The Academy graduate's low drive fizzed inches wide. The signs of improvement continued when Vardy back-heeled a pass into Lookman, whose effort was smothered by the impressive Ramsdale. 

After a few words were exchanged between Evans and Ramsdale, the Arsenal 'keeper inadvertently knocked the ball out of play and City took a quick throw-in. The ball ricocheted around and, suddenly, broke for Barnes, galloping into the area. Ramdale, though, was there again to get down low and save.

The Foxes still had to be wary and when Aubameyang's cross glided across the area, the head of Timothy Castagne diverted it away from danger. Elsewhere, Smith Rowe's corner was volleyed at goal by Aubameyang, around five yards out, but Schmeichel did exceedingly well to stop it with his legs. 

It wasn't long before Patson Daka was on for the home side, as Maddison made way. Barnes was the next Foxes player to go close, glancing Tielemans' cross wide from the angle of the penalty area. Arsenal, however, were able to take the sting out on Filbert Way and hold on for the win.

Major moment

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Kasper Schmeichel
Kasper Schmeichel

There was little Leicester's No.1 could do to prevent Emile Smith Rowe from making it 2-0 to Arsenal.

Gabriel's header put Arsenal in the ascendancy early on at King Power Stadium, but Emile Smith Rowe's second for the Gunners truly gave them a platform to build from. Leicester were able to deliver a much improved second-half performance, but the north Londoners could keep them at bay.

Who impressed?

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Jonny Evans
Jonny Evans

Northern Ireland centre-back was picked out by Gerry Taggart for praise at full-time.

Former Foxes defender Gerry Taggart said on LCFC Radio's live coverage: "I have to mention Harvey Barnes as he was excellent when he came on. Takehiro Tomiyasu looked the real deal in the first half, but when Barnes was on, he struggled a little. But, for the whole game, I have to give it to Jonny Evans, who put in some crucial blocks and challenges for Leicester City this afternoon."

Where do we stand?

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Brendan Rodgers & Timothy Castagne
Brendan Rodgers & Timothy Castagne

Instructions from the manager on the King Power Stadium sidelines.

City are 10th in the Premier League after 10 matches in 2021/22, with 14 points and a goal difference of -2.

Coming up...

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Remembrance on Filbert Way
Remembrance on Filbert Way

Both managers, either side of Club Ambassador Alan 'The Birch' Birchenall, lead the tributes ahead of Leicester City's Remembrance Fixture.

Spartak Moscow are due in Leicester on Thursday for matchday four in the UEFA Europa League group stage (8pm kick-off), before the Foxes head north next Sunday for a 2pm kick-off against Leeds United at Elland Road.

All times GMT.

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