Premier League
Leicester3Arsenal1

Leicester City 3-1 Arsenal

Riyad Mahrez scores
Riyad Mahrez's 12th goal of the season sealed the win for Leicester against 10-man Arsenal

Leicester earned a first Premier League win over Arsenal since 1994 as Arsene Wenger's penultimate game in charge of the Gunners ended in another away defeat.

Kelechi Iheanacho rifled the opener past Petr Cech after poor defending from the visitors, who had 20-year-old defender Konstantinos Mavropanos sent off 92 seconds later for hauling down the forward as he broke through on goal.

Arsenal levelled through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but Jamie Vardy's penalty, awarded after Henrikh Mkhitaryan brought down Demarai Gray, and Riyad Mahrez's late breakaway goal sealed victory for the hosts.

Arsenal remain the only side without an away point in English league football in 2018, while victory for the Foxes means they could still overhaul Everton for eighth place with victory over Tottenham on the final day.

Vardy's penalty means he has now scored six goals in seven Premier League games against the Gunners, who have lost seven consecutive top-flight away matches for the first time since 1966.

In the final minutes Arsenal fans chanted Wenger's name and were joined by the home supporters, many of whom stood to applaud the Frenchman.

Puel gets instant response

Claude Puel speaks to Jamie Vardy
Puel praised the "intensity" of his side's forward play

Before the match, Foxes manager Claude Puel had called on his side to "be positive, play with quality, tempo and desire" - and they duly responded.

The Frenchman has been under pressure in recent weeks and received a vote of confidence from the club's board last Friday, but on this evidence he certainly appears to have his players' backing.

Fousseni Diabate and Mahrez provided constant threat down the flanks, and an attack force of Vardy and Iheanacho had Arsenal's inexperienced backline constantly troubled.

Puel played under Wenger at Monaco in the 1980s and 1990s, and the Arsenal boss praised his tenacity before the match.

"He can fight," said Wenger. "I had him as a player and that was the same and I'm sure he can turn it around very quickly."

Wenger presumably hoped Puel would have waited one more game to get it right.

While this was a good night for Puel, who insists a mid-table finish is acceptable, he surely faces another challenge once the campaign ends, with the future of Mahrez certain to be on the agenda.

If he can retain the services of the Algerian, who has put in two transfer requests in the last two windows, and get consistent performances out of players like Iheanacho, then the champions of 2016 have reasons for optimism heading into a new season.

Gunners' grim away run continues

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Referee showed creative imagination to give penalty - Wenger

If Arsenal were going to get their first away points of the year on the road anywhere, it should have been here.

The last time Leicester beat Arsenal in the Premier League, John Major was Prime Minister, Forrest Gump was in cinemas and it took a David Seaman own goal and David Lowe strike to seal a 2-1 win at Filbert Street under caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald.

Fast forward 24 years and a rush of blood to the head from Arsenal youngster Mavropanos helped Leicester to an overdue victory.

The Gunners had to play for 81 minutes with 10 men as a result, but after a period of panic when Cech made a string of key saves, the visitors rallied.

Foxes goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic, making his league debut for the club after arriving from Hull last summer, had to make a made a strong save to deny Mkhitaryan, while Sead Kolasinac hit the post.

When Aubameyang notched his ninth goal in 12 league games since joining in January to draw Arsenal level, the game was wide open.

But Arsenal were missing the energy of Jack Wilshere, whose wife went into labour before the match, while Aaron Ramsey disappointed as an attacking threat with no shots on goal from midfield.

Graham Scott's decision to award a penalty, a call disputed by Wenger, led to more away-day misery as Vardy fired home.

And any hopes of rescuing a point evaporated when Mahrez's goal made it three.

Arsenal have now conceded 50 goals in a top-flight campaign for the first time since 1983-84, when they let in 60.

Vardy remains top six tormentor - the stats

  • Since his Premier League debut in August 2014, Jamie Vardy has scored 24 goals against the big six sides - four more than any other player during this period (Sergio Aguero, 20).
  • Jamie Vardy has scored six goals in seven Premier League appearances against Arsenal; in fact, only against Liverpool has he scored more in the competition (seven).
  • Arsene Wenger suffered his first defeat against Leicester in his 23rd meeting with the Foxes (P23 W14 D8 L1).
  • Arsenal have lost seven consecutive top-flight away matches for the first time since January 1966 - the Gunners last went on a longer run of consecutive away defeats in May 1925 (a run of 13).
  • The Gunners have now lost 11 Premier League games on the road this season equalling their highest number of away defeats in a single campaign (also 11 in 1994/95) and are the only side across the top four tiers of English football yet to pick up an away point in 2018 (P7 W0 D0 L7).
  • Since making his Premier League debut, only Mohamed Salah (12) has scored more goals in the competition than Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (nine).

Man of the match - Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester)

Kelechi Iheanacho
Kelechi Iheanacho produced a livewire performance with a goal, the burst that saw Mavropanos sent off and more sprints than any other player

'VAR vote destroys me' - what they said

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: "Overall I believe we played a great game today. Even with 10 against 11 we should win the game. I'm convinced what changed the game was the penalty. I have complaints about the red card as well but I think we dealt well with the situation. I would like to praise the team for the spirit they showed tonight.

"There is always a reason for the defeat, but if you isolate each game, it is unfortunate what happened tonight. I think the Premier League has voted against VAR and it is upsetting. It destroys me because we were in front of the rest of the world, and now we want to be behind."

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Puel pleased for fans after 'important performance'

Asked whether the result may ease the pressure on him, Leicester manager Claude Puel said: "No comment. It is not my concern, it was just a win for the players and they wanted to give a reward to the fans. Congratulations to my players because they put in place all of the good ingredients to win the game."

What's next?

Leicester travel to Tottenham on Sunday (15:00 BST) while Arsenal head to Huddersfield for Wenger's final game at the helm (15:00 BST).

Line-ups

Leicester

  • 17Jakupovic
  • 2SimpsonBooked at 78minsSubstituted forDragovicat 82'minutes
  • 5Morgan
  • 15Maguire
  • 28Fuchs
  • 26MahrezBooked at 85mins
  • 38Choudhury
  • 14Adrien Silva
  • 33DiabatéSubstituted forGrayat 72'minutes
  • 9Vardy
  • 8IheanachoSubstituted forBarnesat 88'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Gray
  • 12Hamer
  • 16Dragovic
  • 21Iborra
  • 29Benalouane
  • 30Thomas
  • 32Barnes

Arsenal

  • 33Cech
  • 30Maitland-Niles
  • 16HoldingBooked at 75mins
  • 27MavropanosBooked at 15mins
  • 31Kolasinac
  • 17IwobiSubstituted forNketiahat 84'minutes
  • 29XhakaBooked at 77mins
  • 8Ramsey
  • 7Mkhitaryan
  • 14Aubameyang
  • 23WelbeckSubstituted forMustafiat 19'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Mertesacker
  • 13Ospina
  • 20Mustafi
  • 61Nelson
  • 62Nketiah
  • 63Osei-Tutu
  • 69Willock
Referee:
Graham Scott
Attendance:
32,095

Match Stats

Home TeamLeicesterAway TeamArsenal
Possession
Home40%
Away60%
Shots
Home19
Away14
Shots on Target
Home10
Away7
Corners
Home6
Away6
Fouls
Home7
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Leicester City 3, Arsenal 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Leicester City 3, Arsenal 1.

Foul by Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal).

Harry Maguire (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, Leicester City. Aleksandar Dragovic tries a through ball, but Riyad Mahrez is caught offside.

Goal!

Goal! Leicester City 3, Arsenal 1. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Hamza Choudhury.

Offside, Leicester City. Christian Fuchs tries a through ball, but Jamie Vardy is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Harvey Barnes replaces Kelechi Iheanacho.

Booking

Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.

Hand ball by Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City).

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Eddie Nketiah replaces Alex Iwobi.

Attempt blocked. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Aleksandar Dragovic replaces Danny Simpson because of an injury.

Delay in match Danny Simpson (Leicester City) because of an injury.

Attempt saved. Sead Kolasinac (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Danny Simpson.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Adrien Silva.

Attempt blocked. Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Alex Iwobi.

Booking

Danny Simpson (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Alex Iwobi (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Danny Simpson (Leicester City).

Foul by Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Arsenal).

Harry Maguire (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card.

Goal!

Goal! Leicester City 2, Arsenal 1. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

Booking

Rob Holding (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card.

Penalty conceded by Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Arsenal) after a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty Leicester City. Demarai Gray draws a foul in the penalty area.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Demarai Gray replaces Fousseni Diabaté.

Foul by Sead Kolasinac (Arsenal).

Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Arsenal) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Sead Kolasinac.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Arsenal) because of an injury.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Danny Simpson (Leicester City).

Offside, Leicester City. Riyad Mahrez tries a through ball, but Jamie Vardy is caught offside.

Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Adrien Silva (Leicester City).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City373142105277897
2Man Utd36245767283977
3Tottenham37228769323774
4Liverpool372012580384272
5Chelsea37217962352770
6Arsenal371861373512260
7Burnley371412113537-254
8Everton371310144355-1249
9Leicester371211145255-347
10Newcastle37118183647-1141
11Crystal Palace371011164355-1241
12Bournemouth371011164360-1741
13Watford37118184463-1941
14Brighton37913153450-1640
15West Ham36911164567-2238
16Huddersfield37910182857-2937
17Southampton37715153755-1836
18Swansea3789202754-2733
19West Brom37613183154-2331
20Stoke37612193367-3430
View full Premier League table

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