Leicester City 3-1 Arsenal: 3 things that went wrong for the Gunners
Just days after the emphatic 5-0 victory against Burnley in Arsene Wenger's last home game in charge, Arsenal travelled to the King Power Stadium to take on Leicester in their midweek Premier League clash.
Alas, the Gunners failed to replicate their performance from the other night against Burnley and were eventually punished for their inconsistency. Last night's defeat ensured that Arsenal's horrific away form (Arsene Wenger's men haven't won a single point in away games since the start of 2018) continues.
It was Kelechi Iheanacho who put the hosts ahead as early as the 14th minute when he took advantage of some sloppy Arsenal defending to find himself free as a bird within the box. Receiving a simple pass from Fousseni Diabate in an excellent position, the Nigerian coolly slotted the ball past an outstretched Petr Cech and into the net to give the hosts the opener.
Matters soon went from bad to worse, though, for Arsenal, as new signing Konstantinos Mavropanos was given his marching orders a minute after the goal for failing to clear the ball and subsequently bringing down Iheanacho with no other Arsenal defender behind him.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang kindled the visitors' hopes early in the second half with a twice-attempted effort that eventually nestled into the net, before another poor defensive error gifted the Foxes a crucial penalty which Jamie Vardy duly put away to make it 2-1 to the hosts.
Riyad Mahrez then stepped into to apply the finishing touches to the game, sealing the tie with a goal in the dying minutes of the game.
With that said, as Arsenal crumbled to yet another painful defeat, here is a look at 3 things that went wrong for the Gunners against Leicester City:
#3 Poor defending and subsequent punishment
Arsenal's defence has let them down on a number of occasions this season, and last night was certainly yet another such occasion. Bereft of the services of injured Laurent Koscielny at the back, 22-year-old Rob Holding and 20-year-old Mavropanos were tasked with protecting their goalkeeper as centre-backs while Sead Kolasinac and Ainsley Maitland-Niles flanked them on either side of the backline.
The inexperience eventually proved itself to be the difference as the youngsters simply couldn't keep the Foxes in check. Shoddy man-marking allowed Iheanacho all the space and time in the world for the first goal, while Mavropanos' panicked tackle is what led to an immediate red card.
Restricting Leicester with 10 men was always going to be an uphill challenge and Arsenal eventually succumbed. In the 73rd minute of the game, desperate to win the ball back, Henrikh Mkhitaryan attempted a tackle on Demarai Gray but instead ended up bringing down the Englishman within his own box, resulting in the penalty that gave Leicester the advantage.
Towards the dying minutes of the game, Arsenal had no choice but to throw in the kitchen sink and push players forward - a move that subsequently cost them as Leicester and Riyad Mahrez, in particular, perfectly manipulated the situation to hare down the right flank before giving a couple of defenders the slip before knocking the ball into the goal.
All in all, it wasn't Arsenal's best day defensively and they were unceremoniously punished for their errors.