Leicester City vs Arsenal: Match report

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during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Arsenal at The King Power Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Leicester, England.

Leicester City and Arsenal played out a tense 0-0 draw leaving both teams still searching for their first win of the season. Mark Clattenburg was the centre of attention at full time after failing to award a penalty to Ahmed Musa after Hector Bellerin fouled the striker in the box.

 

Both teams had chances to win it in the second half with England duo Jamie Vardy and Theo Walcott both having their efforts thwarted by great defensive interventions.

 

The King Power Stadium rocked with chants of ‘We know what we are, champions of England.’ as the side traded jabs in an opening 20 minute stalemate.

 

Arsenal saw a lot of the ball early on but Leicester were content to defend with nine men behind the ball. The visitors often worked the ball out wide only to look up and see no sign of their burly centre forward Oliver Giroud. Only deemed fit enough for the bench, ‘He is still behind physically’ said Arsene Wenger in his pre match comments – how Arsenal will be desperate for him to get up to speed quickly.

 

Alexis Sanchez continued with his role as the lone striker for Arsenal and looked very isolated throughout often coming deep to receive the ball and get involved with play.

 

It took 25 minutes for the game to throw up its first half chance as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain cut inside from the left hand side and hit a shot which whistled past Kasper Schmeichel’s goal.

 

Santi Cazorla almost caught the Danish keeper out as his free kick evaded everybody but he displayed the cat like reactions we come to expect from somebody barring such a name to push the ball wide.

 

Arsenal restricted to shots from distance failing to break down the wall of blue parked in front of their attacks.

 

Leicester grew into the first have with Jamie Vardy hassling Koscielny and Holding but the Arsenal back four looked much more composed with their French defender returning to the heart of defence.

 

The game suddenly burst into life in the closing stages of the half. Riyad Mahrez played a delightful ball to set Jamie Vardy free, Petr Cech smothered the effort loose ball fell to Danny Drinkwater who went down under a challenge from Koscielny before the ball was scrambled away. Mark Clattenburg waved away the penalty protests and the debate still could not be settled by the trio in commentary.

 

Leicester looked to grab the game by the scruff of the neck in the second half with much more attacking intent with Petr Cech seeing the ball more often than he would have liked to. Mahrez tested the former Chelsea shot stopper with a wicked free kick with the Algerian’s influence on the game growing with every minute.

 

Still Leicester asked questions of the Gunners pressing high and winning the ball in the final third drawing rapturous applause from the packed out home support and their Italian manager on the touchline.

 

Leicester almost made the visitors pay for their sluggish play with 20 minutes to go. Andy King stole the ball in the Arsenal half for Vardy to run on to. The England striker pulled the trigger only to see the excellent Koscielny streaking in to block the attempt with some superb last ditch defending.

 

With that huge let off Wenger duly made his first two changes with Ozil and Wilshere introduced for Cazorla and Xhaka. Still no sign of Giroud although it seemed desperately obvious that they needed him to relive Sanchez of centre forward duties.

 

Giroud was finally introduced with 15 minutes to play and freed up Alexis Sanchez to operate in the wider positions.

 

Both teams pushed for a winner with just ten minutes to go. Theo Walcott spun and let a shot rip from 12 yards only for Morgan to throw his body in front of the effort.

 

Arsenal began taking the game to Leicester with Sanchez looking much more comfortable out wide with Giroud taking up responsibilities through the middle. Ozil helped pick up the tempo of an often lifeless Arsenal attack but the Leicester door stayed shut.

 

Mahrez almost won it for the home side after breezing by the Arsenal midfield and defence before his shot was hit straight at the sprawling Cech in the Arsenal goal.

 

While only the second game of the season the clash had a tense feeling with both teams content with a point.

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