Kelechi Iheanacho

Brilliant Foxes Defeat 10-Man Arsenal

Leicester City’s final home fixture of the 2017/18 Premier League campaign resulted in a superb 3-1 victory over Arsenal at King Power Stadium on Wednesday evening.
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The Foxes’ first win over the Gunners in England’s top flight for over two decades came courtesy of a stunning performance on Filbert Way.

Claude Puel made three changes to the side that were beaten last time out, as Kelechi Iheanacho, Eldin Jakupović and Danny Simpson returned to the starting XI – all three were excellent against Arsène Wenger’s men.

With just 14 minutes gone, the returning Iheanacho fired City in front. Christian Fuchs’ cross was nodded down by Fousseni Diabaté, who set up the Nigeria international to break the deadlock.

A minute later, the London outfit were down to 10 men. Iheanacho dispossessed Konstantinos Mavraponos before being hauled down by the defender, who was given his marching orders on the quarter-hour mark.

Dominance followed from City, who went close to double their advantage on a number of occasions, with Harry Maguire, Iheanacho and Adrien Silva all denied by the defiant Petr Cech.

Jakupović was called into action in the first period too, as he first turned away an effort from Henrikh Mkhitaryan before tipping Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s strike wide just moments later.

But for all of City’s brilliance, Aubameyang equalised at the second attempt after converting Jakupović’s initial parry.

Leicester’s tempo did not drop, though, and Puel’s introduction of Demarai Gray proved vital as he won a penalty after being fouled by Mkhitaryan in the Arsenal area. Jamie Vardy made no mistakes from the spot, sending Cech the wrong way by hammering the ball into the top corner.

Then, in the closing stages, Riyad Mahrez darted towards goal and breezed past defender Rob Holding before slotting under Cech to seal the three points.

Major moment

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Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez

Riyad Mahrez wheels away in celebration after scoring his side's third goal.

Following a fine first-half display from the Foxes, Arsenal responded in the second half and were much improved after the break.

It was end-to-end in the second period and despite Jamie Vardy putting City back in front following Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s leveller, it was vitally important for Riyad Mahrez to make sure of the result with just a few minutes to play.

Who impressed?

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Kelechi Iheanacho
Kelechi Iheanacho

The Nigeria frontman points to the sky after firing past Petr Cech.

“He’s done well, Kelechi. He’s scored and he’s been involved in a lot of good things tonight.” – Gerry Taggart

“He got a great reception from the crowd and rightly so. He did the business tonight and the fans showed their appreciation.” – Nev Foulger

Kelechi Iheanacho was deservedly applauded by the Blue Army after coming off late on against the Gunners following an outstanding performance on Filbert Way.

Lively from the off, the 21-year-old epitomised City’s determination and no doubt enjoyed scoring his first Premier League goal at King Power Stadium.

Credit should also go to Eldin Jakupović, who pulled off a string of superb saves to keep the Foxes in the game at several different stages. 

Where do we stand?

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Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy

The England international converts from the spot to put the Foxes into a 2-1 lead.

City’s memorable result against Arsenal means they can finish no lower than ninth position in the Premier League this term. If they better Everton’s result on Sunday, they will secure eighth place.

Coming up…

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Eldin Jakupovic
Eldin Jakupovic

Eldin Jakupović made some brilliant saves against Arsène Wenger's men.

Claude Puel’s Foxes round off their 2017/18 Premier League season against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 13 May (3pm kick-off).

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