A harsh red card for second half sub Eddie Nketiah changed the game for Arsenal and led to the Gunners dropping points from a winning position, with a late goal from Vardy seeing Leicester take a share of the spoils.
Mikel Arteta obviously went with a winning chemistry, naming the same lineup that overcame Wolves so impressively.
That meant a continuation of our 3-5-2, with Kolasinac and Bellerin in the wing back spots, and Kieran Tierney showing everyone his adaptability and defensive merits as our third centre back.
We started with a strong grip on possession, knocking things around well but with no real penetration as such. We seemed content to show Leicester how capable we were, but the first fifteen were perhaps shaded by Leicester, who tested Martinez on a couple of occasions, especially with a short corner that saw Tielemans smash an effort goalwards that our keeper wouldn’t have seen much of.
We started to crank through the gears though and by the twenty minute mark, we were a goal up.
It started with the ball in our half, but Ceballos curled a wonderful slide-rule ball around the last ditch tackle of Soyuncu. The Romanian defender tried and failed to stop the run of Saka, who carried on into the box by dropping a shoulder to Evans and then put a low ball across the box to Aubameyang, who sidefooted past Schmeichel.
It was the catalyst to us putting our foot down, and Saka was looking dangerous. He forced Schmeichel into another save at his near post this time.
We were scaring Leicester, especially in the wide areas. It meant that the Foxes were not committing as many forward and relying on long balls for Vardy to chase, which our defenders and Marrtinez were mopping up.
We went even closer to doubling our lead on the thirty minute mark. It was Auba and Saka again combining, with the youngster crossing for Lacazette, who controlled well and unleashed a fierce low drive that Schmeichel did extremely well to parry. The ball eventually found Bellerin, who then made sure the Danish keeper had to save again.
We were well on top, but Leicester gave us a nudge to remind us of their capabilities, a cross put in for Iheanacho was put away by the Nigerian, but ruled out for a foul.
Next up for Arsenal chances was a fine lofted cross to the back post where Lacazette bested his marker, but he tried to direct his header high into the far corner instead of low down, which made it easy for Schmeichel to catch.
That was it for first half action. We had earned our lead, but we needed to maintain our initiative, our hunger. It was proving the difference.
The Foxes came out of the blocks positively for the second half, but nothing too strenuous for Martinez to deal with. Rodgers’ men were pressing tightly and Ceballos would be needed to relieve the pressure with his interceptions and acute passing like in the first half.
Tierney was proving a useful outlet too, with his stamina allowing him to be available more often than most.
Then, there was a point of consternation. A clip on Lacazette allowed Leicester to break forward, the ref not interested in giving a foul. It culminated in Vardy putting a ball over for Iheanacho who was in space. He hit it first time and it forced a smart stop from Martinez.
We were still keeping Leicester at bay, and it forced Rodgers into a change in the 58th minute, with Albrighton coming off for Fuchs and Iheanacho swapped for Harvey Barnes.
Leicester were coming out of their shell more, they could sense we were being pushed back a little. As the Foxes came forward though, it meant that there would be more space for us to harness.
We looked to have doubled our lead in the 68th minute as Luiz nodded on a corner for Lacazette to poke home, but his standing foot was offside so the goal was ruled out.
With twenty minutes left, the game was poised for a nervous finish. Arteta made two changes with Lacazette coming off for Nketiah, and Saka coming off for Willock. The hope must have been to maintain the energy at the high end of the pitch to win back possession in dangerous areas – something Willock and Nketiah are especially good at.
And within a minute of him coming on, Nketiah was sent off! A clumsy challenge from the striker was referred to VAR and ref Chris Kavanagh looked at it again after firstly booking Nketiah. Nketiah was bringing his foot down and back upon impact and as we all know, the kid hasn’t a malicious bone in his body so we know it probably wasn’t deserved, but still, Nketiah went off after having the shortest cameo for quite some time.
It prompted another change from Arteta, with Ceballos, who had been superb, being replaced by Lucas Torreira, who would put more bite into our midfield.
And then, Leicester scored.
A ball in from Gray evaded everyone and there was that man Vardy yet again, lurking and available to slot home, with five minutes left.
The sending off had changed the game, we had been on the back foot completely since the decision.
We had eight minutes of stoppage time to ride out. It was getting really fraught, especially with our team against the wall.
In the last few minutes we had every one of our men in our own third as Leicester tried to stretch and poke a hole through our side.
We held on, but the result felt disappointing.
What can we take going into the North London derby?
VAR Need To Be Conclusive
Repeated replays still couldn’t tell if Nketiah’s challenge was serious foul play. If that is the case, then surely it cannot be serious foul play?
The Scot was everywhere and a huge influence at both ends of the pitch. He can seriously make the difference if he stays fit.
Keep Ceballos and Xhaka in Team
Both players were having fun breaking up Leicester passages of play. They linked play, they were great for our defence. The partnership continues to flower. Let them strengthen that with game time.
Lacazette Showing Signs of Revival
His hold up play, his positioning, Laca is coming back stronger. Unlucky not to score here – we know he has previous against Tottenham, and with Nketiah now suspended, his form cannot be coming back at a better time.
Next up is the NLD on Sunday.
Have your chance to rate our team performance here.