Arsenal succumbed to defeat at the King Power Stadium, as Leicester scored two second half goals to grab the points – and move nine points ahead of the Gunners in the league table.
The stats don’t make for pretty reading.
Arsenal have played three games in eight days. In those games, those 270 minutes, we have had six shots on target.
Leicester had seven against us in this game alone.
We are not creating chances, we are not taking the few that we do have and while we have improved defensively, we will eventually be unbound by the sheer weight of pressure we are putting on our backline with our failure to mount any form of tangible resistance.
Unai Emery must be able to hear the knives sharpen. The Spaniard shuffled his pack once again for this game, and we started with a back five. Sokratis was rested as rob Holding started alongside David Luiz and Calum Chambers. Hector Bellerin was in the side on the right, with Sead Kolasinac on the left. In the centre we had Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi.
Up top, Mesut Ozil was back in the side, with both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette in the front. On paper, it was probably our strongest side, barring Kieran Tierney in place of Kolasinac, so there could be no excuse in terms of personnel.
All we had to do was actually formulate a decent set of tactics and take the fight to Leicester. Brendan Rodgers had a settled eleven, a frame of tactics and selection that was paying dividends – we needed to disrupt that. The best way to do that is to attack.
We didn’t exactly do that.
Much like in the last few games, we seemed happy to let the Foxes take the game to us and for our team to be reactionary.
Vardy early on showed his threat, forcing Leno to race off his line to smother, and then Youri Tielemans was only thwarted by some brilliant covering by Chambers.
We started to show some teeth soon after, as Bellerin made some inroads on the right and his cutback found Lacazette, who curled one just wide. It was close, but we needed more.
The Foxes then had three good chances before half time to grab the lead.
First up was Ayoze Perez, who was teed up by Vardy but shot over from a good position.
Next up was Vardy himself, who was picked out at the back post and looked nailed on to finish, but couldn’t get the vital touch.
Just before half time, Maddison had a great free kick fly just over the bar with Leno well beaten. We had escaped. We had fought, but Leicester were first to loose balls, looked to attack with pace and we were hanging on by the end.
The second half was much the same as the first. Just four minutes in and Ndidi smacked the crossbar from fifteen yards.
We did rouse from our slumber for moments, and Kolasianc found Auba well, the Gabon striker fired home but he was well offside.
That was the exception rather than the rule for us though.
Then, Leicester took the lead. Tielemans found Vardy in the box and he finished low and hard past Leno, to give the home team a deserved lead.
We started to show some impetus to get back into the game after the goal, but it played exactly into Leicester’s hands. They doubled their lead soon after the first goal, countering at pace and ending with Vardy passing to Maddison to finish emphatically into the bottom corner.
Emery made changes to get back into the game, but with less than fifteen minutes to go, we had a mountain to climb. Nicolas Pepe came on for Holding and Jo Willock replaced Torreira, but it changed nothing and we created little before the final whistle blew.
Another case of dropped points. What were the main factors for this performance?
Emery, what are you talking about?
In our last few disappointing games, Emery has spoken of his team carrying out the game plan they had worked out, exactly how he has wanted them to. We have failed to attack, to stand up and be counted and we have conspired to gift our opponents far too many shots. If this is the gameplan he is referring to, we are doomed.
Defending is at least improving
For large periods of the game we were under the cosh and we dealt with the worst Leicester had to offer. The triumvirate of Chambers, Holding and Luiz actually held up pretty well and were far from shocking. You could see the improvement. The problem was that there was only so long they could keep retrieving the situation until it was just too much.
Laca had a shocker
When it comes to rescuing us, normally Laca is one of the likely candidates, but this game he had a mare. Every pass went astray, his touch deserted him, he looked about as threatening as a Tottenham silverware presentation. One to forget for the Frenchman.
Now we must endure the two week international break, before resuming matters against Southampton on the 23 November.