Premier League
Leicester2Arsenal0

Leicester City 2-0 Arsenal: Jamie Vardy and James Maddison score to send Foxes second

Jamie Vardy celebrates
Jamie Vardy is the top scorer in the Premier League this season

Brendan Rodgers said Leicester City are "not really thinking about the title race", despite their 2-0 win against Arsenal taking them above Manchester City into second in the Premier League.

The 2015-16 champions had looked set to be frustrated as they missed several chances in the first half before Wilfred Ndidi struck the bar early in the second period.

But Jamie Vardy finally broke the deadlock as he finished off an excellent team move, firing in his 11th goal of the season after Harvey Barnes and Youri Tielemans cut open the Arsenal defence.

James Maddison then made sure there was no way back for Arsenal with a low strike through Héctor Bellerin's legs and into the back of the net.

Victory means Leicester move above Manchester City and Chelsea with 26 points from 12 games, five behind leaders Liverpool but nine clear of fifth-placed Sheffield United.

"We are thinking about the development of the team and making them better and if we can bring European football here in my time, that would be great," said Rodgers.

"We have thrown a hand grenade right into the middle of it all. We are working very, very well. We will just concentrate on our performance levels until 10 games to go and assess it then.

"I came here to make an impact and create something that we can hopefully sustain over a number of years."

Arsenal, meanwhile, are now eight points off the top four and are without a win in the Premier League since beating Bournemouth 1-0 on 6 October.

Free-scoring Foxes always find a way

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Rodgers impressed with 'very important' win

Eighteen months ago, former Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis hailed the arrival of Emery as a coach who "plays an exciting, progressive style of football that fits Arsenal perfectly".

That description was certainly accurate about one of the teams on the pitch at King Power Stadium on Saturday, but it was not Emery's side.

The Foxes possess a clear identity and a togetherness that appears to be absent from this current Gunners side who, apart from occasional flashes, rarely troubled their opponents.

Leicester dominated possession from the outset and even though they missed a number of decent chances - Ayoze Pérez firing just over after capitalising on a defensive error and Maddison putting a free-kick on the roof of the net - there was always the sense that the Foxes would find a way through.

Premier League top six

So it proved in the second half as they scored the sort of goal that Arsenal teams of the past did with regularity - Barnes picked out Tielemans with a clever backheel and the midfielder immediately found Vardy at the far post where the in-form striker made no mistake.

From then there was only going to be one outcome as Leicester eased to a fourth successive Premier League win.

Rodgers has been linked with replacing Emery at Arsenal, but given where the two clubs are in the table and in terms of form, it is hard to see why he would consider a move to Emirates Stadium.

Pressure mounting on Emery after another blow

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Leicester City 2-0 Arsenal: Foxes defeat a bad result - Unai Emery

It has certainly been a tough season for Arsenal boss Emery, both on and off the pitch.

He has faced criticism for the way he has handled the much-maligned Mesut Özil, while it remains to be seen how the decision to remove the captaincy from Granit Xhaka will affect an Arsenal team that already appears to be struggling with confidence.

All this has been happening alongside inconsistent performances on the pitch and this was a game Emery really needed to win to relieve some of the pressure on himself.

The Gunners had drawn their last four games in all competitions, letting slip a lead in each of those fixtures and in an effort to combat that and also stifle the threat of Vardy, Emery employed a three-man defence for the first time in the league this season.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil
Arsenal’s record of 17 points and -1 goal difference is their worst start to a top-flight season after 12 games since 1982-83 (15 points).

Arsenal certainly kept their shape better than in recent games but they still lacked conviction in their play, with misplaced passes from the back gifting Leicester chances on a couple of occasions.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had an effort ruled out for offside but ultimately Arsenal did not show enough of an attacking threat as they finished the game with just a solitary shot on target.

This was their 50th league game under Emery and they have won 87 points, one fewer than they won in their final 50 games under Arsène Wenger.

Man of the match - James Maddison (Leicester)

James Maddison
No player had more shots, shots on target or made more key passes than Maddison

'Vardy up there with the best strikers in Europe' - manager reaction

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers: "The way it's been going for a period of time now, it's nice because the players know they have the qualities to win any game against any opposition.

"You're playing against a top team with really good players, so you have to be patient but we showed real quality to break through. A very, very important three points.

"He [Vardy] is up there with the very, very top strikers in European football with what he brings to a team, his pressing. We've allowed him to do essentially what he wants to do - he's so honest, he'd press the whole back four if he could."

Arsenal manager Unai Emery: "In the end, a bad result but we did our gameplan, thinking right in the moment and we did that and when they scored the first goal was the moment maybe.

"Before the first goal I think we were in the match and in the second half we started to push in and create chances but they are in a good moment and they won.

"The second half we started better, we were pushing and showing we wanted to win. They work very well, the players felt comfortable and defended good and we had chances. With Mesut Özil we keep the ball sometimes like we want and it is the way to carry on.

"I am sure we are going to improve after that [the international break]. I think we need to achieve, at home, confidence and to be strong at home. We didn't lose [many games] but we draw so much, that's what's important for the table, but I think we can achieve the balance to be strong and get better in these matches."

Leicester better than 2016 - the best stats

  • Leicester have won three consecutive top-flight home games against Arsenal for the first time in their history.
  • Leicester have won five Premier League home games in a row for only the second time, last doing so in May 2017 under Craig Shakespeare.
  • Arsenal had just one shot on target in this match, with that effort coming in the 20th minute from Alexandre Lacazette.
  • Arsenal are winless in their last five Premier League away games since beating Newcastle 1-0 on the opening weekend (D2 L3).
  • Leicester's haul of 26 points from their 12 Premier League games this season is their most ever at this stage of a top-flight campaign, and one more than they had in their title winning season of 2015-16.
  • Arsenal's record of 17 points and -1 goal difference is their worst start to a top-flight season after 12 games since 1982-83 (15 points). They also had 17 points in 2014-15, but had goal difference of +5.
  • Leicester's Jamie Vardy has scored nine goals in his nine Premier League starts against Arsenal - in Premier League history, only Wayne Rooney (12), Robbie Fowler (10) and Harry Kane (10) have scored more against the Gunners.
  • Vardy is the top Premier League goalscorer so far this season (11), as well as being the top scorer in the competition in 2019 (23).

What next?

A trip to Brighton is next for Leicester with the sides meeting at Amex Stadium on Saturday, 23 November (15:00 GMT), while Arsenal host Southampton at the same time.

Line-ups

Leicester

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 21Ricardo Pereira
  • 6EvansBooked at 55mins
  • 4Söyüncü
  • 3Chilwell
  • 25Ndidi
  • 17PérezSubstituted forGrayat 60'minutes
  • 8Tielemans
  • 10Maddison
  • 15BarnesSubstituted forPraetat 74'minutes
  • 9Vardy

Substitutes

  • 2Justin
  • 5Morgan
  • 7Gray
  • 11Albrighton
  • 12Ward
  • 20Choudhury
  • 26Praet

Arsenal

  • 1Leno
  • 21Chambers
  • 23David Luiz
  • 16HoldingSubstituted forPépéat 77'minutes
  • 2BellerínBooked at 88mins
  • 11TorreiraSubstituted forWillockat 80'minutes
  • 29Guendouzi
  • 31Kolasinac
  • 10Özil
  • 9Lacazette
  • 14Aubameyang

Substitutes

  • 3Tierney
  • 5Papastathopoulos
  • 19Pépé
  • 26Martínez
  • 28Willock
  • 35Martinelli
  • 77Saka
Referee:
Chris Kavanagh
Attendance:
32,209

Match Stats

Home TeamLeicesterAway TeamArsenal
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home19
Away8
Shots on Target
Home7
Away1
Corners
Home5
Away4
Fouls
Home10
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Leicester City 2, Arsenal 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Leicester City 2, Arsenal 0.

Booking

Héctor Bellerín (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City).

Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ben Chilwell (Leicester City).

Nicolas Pépé (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Demarai Gray (Leicester City) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Youri Tielemans.

Attempt missed. Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by James Maddison with a headed pass.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Joe Willock replaces Lucas Torreira.

Attempt blocked. Dennis Praet (Leicester City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jamie Vardy with a headed pass.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Matteo Guendouzi.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Nicolas Pépé.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Sead Kolasinac.

Attempt missed. Youri Tielemans (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Nicolas Pépé replaces Rob Holding.

Goal!

Goal! Leicester City 2, Arsenal 0. James Maddison (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jamie Vardy.

Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by David Luiz (Arsenal).

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Dennis Praet replaces Harvey Barnes.

Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Calum Chambers (Arsenal).

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Ben Chilwell.

Attempt saved. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Demarai Gray.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Çaglar Söyüncü.

Goal!

Goal! Leicester City 1, Arsenal 0. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Youri Tielemans.

Attempt saved. Demarai Gray (Leicester City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jonny Evans.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Ricardo Pereira.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Demarai Gray replaces Ayoze Pérez.

Foul by Ayoze Pérez (Leicester City).

Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Jonny Evans (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Offside, Arsenal. Sead Kolasinac tries a through ball, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Héctor Bellerín (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Matteo Guendouzi.

Attempt missed. David Luiz (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Foul by Jamie Vardy (Leicester City).

Rob Holding (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. James Maddison (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Ricardo Pereira.

Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) hits the bar with a left footed shot from the centre of the box.

Ayoze Pérez (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool1110102591631
2Leicester128222982126
3Chelsea1282227171026
4Man City1181234102425
5Sheff Utd12453139417
6Arsenal124531617-117
7Bournemouth124441515016
8Brighton114341414015
9Burnley124351718-115
10Crystal Palace124351016-615
11Newcastle124351118-715
12Tottenham123541817114
13Everton124261318-514
14Man Utd113441311213
15Wolves112721414013
16West Ham123451420-613
17Aston Villa113261618-211
18Watford12156823-158
19Southampton122281129-188
20Norwich122191128-177
View full Premier League table

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