Arsenal's away-day woes continue with loss to Iheanacho-inspired Leicester City

By Daily Sports on May 10, 2018

Views: 627

Riyad Mahrez's 12th goal of the season sealed the win for Leicester against 10-man Arsenal

Leicester earned a first Premier League win over Arsenal since 1994 as Arsene Wenger's penultimate game in charge of the Gunners ended in another away defeat.

Kelechi Iheanacho rifled the opener past Petr Cech after poor defending from the visitors, who had 20-year-old defender Konstantinos Mavropanos sent off 92 seconds later for hauling down the forward as he broke through on goal.

Arsenal levelled through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but Jamie Vardy's penalty, awarded after Henrikh Mkhitaryan brought down Demarai Gray, and Riyad Mahrez's late breakaway goal sealed victory for the hosts.

Arsenal remain the only side without an away point in English league football in 2018, while victory for the Foxes means they could still overhaul Everton for eighth place with victory over Tottenham on the final day.

Vardy's penalty means he has now scored six goals in seven Premier League games against the Gunners, who have lost seven consecutive top-flight away matches for the first time since 1966.

In the final minutes Arsenal fans chanted Wenger's name and were joined by the home supporters, many of whom stood to applaud the Frenchman.

Puel gets instant response

Before the match, Foxes manager Claude Puel had called on his side to "be positive, play with quality, tempo and desire" - and they duly responded.

The Frenchman has been under pressure in recent weeks and received a vote of confidence from the club's board last Friday, but on this evidence he certainly appears to have his players' backing.

Fousseni Diabate and Mahrez provided constant threat down the flanks, and an attack force of Vardy and Iheanacho had Arsenal's inexperienced backline constantly troubled.

Puel played under Wenger at Monaco in the 1980s and 1990s, and the Arsenal boss praised his tenacity before the match.

"He can fight," said Wenger. "I had him as a player and that was the same and I'm sure he can turn it around very quickly."

Wenger presumably hoped Puel would have waited one more game to get it right.

While this was a good night for Puel, who insists a mid-table finish is acceptable, he surely faces another challenge once the campaign ends, with the future of Mahrez certain to be on the agenda.

If he can retain the services of the Algerian, who has put in two transfer requests in the last two windows, and get consistent performances out of players like Iheanacho, then the champions of 2016 have reasons for optimism heading into a new season.

Gunners' grim away run continues

Referee showed creative imagination to give penalty – Wenger

If Arsenal were going to get their first away points of the year on the road anywhere, it should have been here.

The last time Leicester beat Arsenal in the Premier League, John Major was Prime Minister, Forrest Gump was in cinemas and it took a David Seaman own goal and David Lowe strike to seal a 2-1 win at Filbert Street under caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald.

Fast forward 24 years and a rush of blood to the head from Arsenal youngster Mavropanos helped Leicester to an overdue victory.

The Gunners had to play for 81 minutes with 10 men as a result, but after a period of panic when Cech made a string of key saves, the visitors rallied.

Foxes goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic, making his league debut for the club after arriving from Hull last summer, had to make a made a strong save to deny Mkhitaryan, while Sead Kolasinac hit the post.

When Aubameyang notched his ninth goal in 12 league games since joining in January to draw Arsenal level, the game was wide open.

But Arsenal were missing the energy of Jack Wilshere, whose wife went into labour before the match, while Aaron Ramsey disappointed as an attacking threat with no shots on goal from midfield.

Graham Scott's decision to award a penalty, a call disputed by Wenger, led to more away-day misery as Vardy fired home.

And any hopes of rescuing a point evaporated when Mahrez's goal made it three.

Arsenal have now conceded 50 goals in a top-flight campaign for the first time since 1983-84, when they let in 60.

Text (except headline) taken from BBC. Photo shows Iheanacho celebrating his goal against Arsenal

Source Daily Sports

Posted May 10, 2018

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