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Arsenal 1-1 Leicester City: Vardy rescues point for visitors after Aubameyang opener

Jamie Vardy
Vardy is the Premier League's top scorer with 22 goals

Jamie Vardy's late equaliser gave Leicester City a vital point to keep their Champions League hopes on track and end Arsenal's recent winning streak.

The Gunners looked on course for a fifth successive victory to maintain their own outside chance of a place in Europe's elite competition next season after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang swept in his 20th league goal of the season in the first half.

Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel kept Arsenal at bay with a string of fine saves before the interval, twice denying Alexandre Lacazette as well as Bukayo Saka - and it proved to be a vital contribution.

Arsenal were reduced to 10 men with 15 minutes left when Eddie Nketiah was sent off four minutes after coming on as substitute for a high challenge on James Justin, and Leicester cashed in when Vardy slid home Demarai Gray's cross in the 84th minute, the goal finally awarded after a lengthy VAR check for offside.

It was Vardy's 22nd league strike of the season and restored his two-goal advantage over Aubameyang at the top of the Premier League scoring charts.

Leicester drop to fourth, four points ahead of Manchester United having played a game more, but this was an important point that left Arsenal frustrated in seventh.

Frustration for Arteta and Arsenal

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Arteta angered by red card decisions against Foxes

Arsenal's recent run of league wins, away at Southampton and Wolverhampton Wanderers and at home to Norwich City, sparked hopes they could force their way into the Champions League places, especially with the lingering possibility of Manchester City being banned from the competition.

Their hopes will have risen once more as they held the lead in impressive fashion but in the end Vardy's equaliser left manager Mikel Arteta cutting a frustrated figure at the final whistle.

There is, however, still plenty to admire about how Arsenal are developing under Arteta, especially teenager Saka, whose superb delivery for Aubameyang's goal was his 12th Premier League assist this season, with only Kevin de Bruyne (19) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (14) ahead of him.

Arsenal have a potent striker in Aubameyang and there is a tempo and focus about their play that certainly has Arteta's stamp - he will still feel the pain of those lost points so late on.

Satisfaction for Rodgers

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Brendan Rodgers praises goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel

Leicester may have slipped a place after occupying the top three for most of this season, but manager Brendan Rodgers will feel a measure of satisfaction after his side fought back to earn a point.

The Foxes have been in indifferent form since the league restarted and Rodgers will have been desperate to maintain momentum after a 3-0 victory over Crystal Palace last time out.

For long spells it looked like they would leave north London empty-handed, especially when they were relying on Schmeichel to stop them falling even further behind as Arsenal took control after going ahead.

Leicester showed spirit and composure and were handed the initiative when Nketiah's reckless lunge at Justin gave them impetus to push for the leveller.

Inevitably it was Vardy, who joined the Premier League's '100 Club' after scoring twice against Palace, who was the scourge of Arsenal once more as he pounced for his 10th career goal against them, although there was an agonising wait before he and Leicester could celebrate.

The Foxes could not force home a winner but in the end Rodgers will take a point in the increasingly competitive fight for places in the Champions League next term.

Man of the match - Kieran Tierney (Arsenal)

Kieran Tierney
Tierney was a good attacking outlet down the left for Arsenal, putting in six crosses - more than any other player on the pitch. The Scot also won the ball back four times and contributed two clearances

'A point was the minimum we deserved' - what they said

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, speaking to BBC Sport: "We lost two points. I think we deserved to win the game. But when you have the chances you have to kill them. Three- or four-nil and the game is over. We had to play a long time with 10 men.

"I was agitated for a previous incident that was a red card [in the first half]. The referee has made a decision and we have to learn from that, as well it is our fault because it is the fourth time since I have been here we have played with 10 men and we have to reflect on that."

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers: "I thought a point was the minimum we deserved. We started well and then conceded too much space and they got the goal from that.

"There was a spell for 15 minutes where it was a bit like basketball. The game was a bit open for my liking.

"Towards the end of the first half we connected the game better and second half I felt we were excellent. We played with composure and got into some good areas.

"At 11 versus 10 we managed it really well, got the goal and unfortunate not to have got a second."

Super sub Gray - the stats

  • Arsenal remain unbeaten in 23 home league games against Leicester (W19 D4).
  • Leicester City have scored 18 goals in the final 15 minutes of their Premier League games this season, more than any other side.
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is just the second Arsenal player to score 20+ Premier League goals in consecutive seasons, after Thierry Henry (five in a row between 2001-02 and 2005-06).
  • Only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been involved in more goals for Arsenal this season in all competitions (25) than Bukayo Saka (16 - 4 goals, 12 assists).
  • At 21 years 38 days, Eddie Nketiah is the youngest Arsenal player to be sent off in the Premier League since Konstantinos Mavropanos, also against Leicester in May 2018 (20y 149d).
  • Leicester striker Jamie Vardy is just the fourth player to score at least 10 Premier League goals against Arsenal, after Wayne Rooney (12), Robbie Fowler and Harry Kane (both 10).
  • Since his debut in January 2016, Leicester's Demarai Gray has registered eight assists as a sub in the Premier League, more than any other player.

What next?

Arsenal travel to north London rivals Tottenham on Sunday (kick-off 16:30 BST), while Leicester go to Bournemouth on the same day (19:00).

Around the BBC - Sounds
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Line-ups

Arsenal

  • 26Martínez
  • 20MustafiBooked at 88mins
  • 23David Luiz
  • 31Kolasinac
  • 2Bellerín
  • 8CeballosSubstituted forTorreiraat 80'minutes
  • 34Xhaka
  • 3Tierney
  • 77SakaSubstituted forWillockat 71'minutes
  • 9LacazetteSubstituted forNketiahat 71'minutesBooked at 75mins
  • 14AubameyangSubstituted forMaitland-Nilesat 90+3'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Papastathopoulos
  • 11Torreira
  • 15Maitland-Niles
  • 16Holding
  • 19Pépé
  • 24Nelson
  • 28Willock
  • 30Nketiah
  • 33Macey

Leicester

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 29BennettSubstituted forGrayat 76'minutes
  • 6Evans
  • 4Söyüncü
  • 2Justin
  • 25NdidiSubstituted forPraetat 82'minutes
  • 8Tielemans
  • 11AlbrightonSubstituted forFuchsat 59'minutes
  • 14IheanachoSubstituted forBarnesat 59'minutes
  • 9Vardy
  • 17Pérez

Substitutes

  • 5Morgan
  • 7Gray
  • 12Ward
  • 15Barnes
  • 20Choudhury
  • 22James
  • 24Mendy
  • 26Praet
  • 28Fuchs
Referee:
Chris Kavanagh

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenalAway TeamLeicester
Possession
Home37%
Away63%
Shots
Home11
Away13
Shots on Target
Home7
Away5
Corners
Home10
Away1
Fouls
Home10
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Arsenal 1, Leicester City 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Arsenal 1, Leicester City 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Dennis Praet (Leicester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Demarai Gray.

  4. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Ainsley Maitland-Niles replaces Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Demarai Gray (Leicester City).

  6. Post update

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

  7. Booking

    Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  8. Post update

    Harvey Barnes (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal).

  10. Post update

    VAR Decision: Goal Leicester City - Arsenal 1-1 Leicester City (Jamie Vardy).

  11. Goal!

    Goal! Arsenal 1, Leicester City 1. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Demarai Gray.Goal confirmed following VAR Review.

  12. Post update

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

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Leicester City. Dennis Praet replaces Wilfred Ndidi.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Çaglar Söyüncü (Leicester City).

  15. Post update

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Lucas Torreira replaces Dani Ceballos.

  17. Post update

    Offside, Leicester City. Harvey Barnes tries a through ball, but Jamie Vardy is caught offside.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is close, but misses to the left from a direct free kick.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Leicester City. Demarai Gray replaces Ryan Bennett.

  20. Dismissal

    Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal) is shown the red card.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool33292272254789
2Man City33213981344766
3Chelsea341861063461760
4Leicester34178964323259
5Man Utd331510856332355
6Wolves33131374536952
7Arsenal34121485042850
8Tottenham33139115244848
9Sheff Utd33121293433148
10Burnley33137133746-946
11Everton33128134048-844
12Newcastle331110123545-1043
13Southampton33134164255-1343
14Crystal Palace34119143043-1342
15Brighton33812133544-936
16West Ham3387184058-1831
17Watford34710173153-2231
18Aston Villa3376203662-2627
19Bournemouth3376203259-2727
20Norwich3456232663-3721
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