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Leicester 3-0 Arsenal: 5 Talking Points and Tactical Analysis

Leicester City thrashed Arsenal 3-0
Leicester City thrashed Arsenal 3-0
FEATURED WRITER
Modified 28 Apr 2019, 20:38 IST
Top 5 / Top 10
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Leicester swept aside Arsenal’s challenge as the Foxes ran out 3-0 winners at the King Power Stadium.

The hosts started on the front foot and dominated possession in the early exchanges. The Gunners looked rattled for the majority of the first half and failed to get their passing game going. Yet, some wayward finishing by the home side allowed the visitors to stay level.

However, their task was made considerably tougher after a dubious tackle by Ainsley Maitland-Niles in the 36th minute piled prompted referee Michael Oliver to brandish a second yellow card. 

Though the Gunners avoided any further mishaps in the first half, they went a goal behind when Youri Tielemans nodded in the opener around the hour mark.

Arsenal tried to push the initiative thereafter yet couldn’t muster anything substantial in the offensive third.

Jamie Vardy put the result beyond in the 86th minute when he raced onto a long pass and finished off the move via a header.

However, the Foxes weren’t done as the Englishman added another in injury time to apply further gloss on the score-line.

Here is a look at the five talking points from the game:


#5. Unai Emery gets it tactically wrong

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Unai Emery didn
Unai Emery didn't quite get it right against Leicester

Unai Emery decided to shuffle his pack for the trip to Leicester and proceeded with a 4-4-2 formation. Sead Kolasinac and Maitland-Niles started as full backs while Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan functioned as the wide midfielders. Though the tweak allowed Arsenal to play Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang in tandem, it rid them of any control in midfield as the Foxes swarmed all over the Gunners.

Tasked with controlling a three-man opposition midfield, Lucas Torreira and Granit Xhaka were over-run with worrying efficiency. Additionally, the lack of defensive support from the wide midfielders forced the pair to shunt itself wide. Inevitably, acres of space were left behind in the middle third with Tielemans and James Maddison thriving.

Moreover, the likes of Aubameyang and Lacazette were isolated for large chunks of the game as the midfielders dropped deeper to establish control.

However, the most troubling aspect for Emery and Arsenal would be the frequency with which the home side was able to exploit the space in behind the defence.

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On countless occasions, Shkodran Mustafi played Vardy and Maddison on-side whereas Sokratis’ positioning was questionable.

Throughout the season, Arsenal has practised deploying a high line yet one feels they would’ve been better served not exploring the said option against Leicester’s pacey forward.

There has been a general consensus that the arrival of Emery has made the Gunners more tactically astute and flexible.

Yet, in their biggest game in the top four race, the Spaniard got his tactics horribly wrong.

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Published 28 Apr 2019, 20:38 IST
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