World Football

Leicester City vs. Arsenal: Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 31: Arsene Wenger, manager of Arsenal sits in the dug out with assistant Steve Bould during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Arsenal at The King Power Stadium on August 31, 2014 in Leicester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images
Michael CummingsWorld Football Lead WriterAugust 31, 2014

Alexis Sanchez scored his first Premier League goal but Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw at Leicester City on Sunday in the Premier League.

Sanchez netted in the 20th minute to seemingly set Arsenal on their way, but Leonardo Ulloa headed in two minutes later to earn the hosts a share of the points.

Arsenal dominated the ball, holding 69 percent of possession, according to WhoScored.com, but were generally unable to break down Leicester's defence in the absence of injured first-choice striker Olivier Giroud.

In Giroud's place, manager Arsene Wenger opted to start 21-year-old Yaya Sanogo. But after another less-than-impressive performance, Sanogo has still yet to convince that he can fill in on a permanent basis.

As such, Arsenal could be in the market for a new striker between now and the closing of the transfer window Monday evening. The Gunners were rumoured to be interested in Loic Remy, per Sky Sports, but the French striker signed with Chelsea on Sunday (via ChelseaFC.com).

In addition, the Gunners might need defensive cover after first-choice centre-back Laurent Koscielny left Sunday's match in the 26th minute with a head injury. The French defender had initially continued playing after being hurt in a collision with Jeffrey Schlupp, but he was at fault for Leicester's first-half equaliser and had to leave the match shortly after, to be replaced by Calum Chambers.

The draw leaves Arsenal with five points—and only one win—through three Premier League matches this season. Leicester, who were promoted to the Premier League after winning the Championship last season, have two points through three matches but have performed well against Everton, Chelsea and now Arsenal.

Both sides created half-chances in the early stages before Arsenal went ahead in the 20th minute. Santi Cazorla created the chance after a good spell of build-up play along Leicester's box, lifting a pass over the home side's defence for Sanogo.

Instead of hitting a volley with his first touch, Sanogo allowed the ball to drop in front of him before recovering with a pass across to Sanchez. Needing no invitation, Sanchez fired in to put Arsenal ahead with his first Premier League goal.

The lead was short-lived. Two minutes later, Leicester pulled level as Schlupp and Ulloa combined to deadly effect. Schlupp was the provider, playing a perfect cross from the left for Ulloa, who slipped in behind Koscielny before placing his header into the net for the equaliser.

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 31: Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal wins the ball from Liam Moore of Leicester City during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Arsenal at The King Power Stadium on August 31, 2014 in Leicester, England.  (Photo
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

With the match still level at the break, Leicester created the first big chance of the second half. Ulloa was the danger man again, running onto Riyad Mahrez's angled pass in the box before pulling back deftly to beat Chambers. But with only Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny to beat, Ulloa curled his shot high and wide of the near post.

The next chance fell to Arsenal in the 57th minute, Nacho Monreal picking out Sanogo on the left. Sanogo tried his luck from close range, but Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel came off his line alertly to block.

Arsenal continued to hold the majority of possession without creating clear chances over the next several minutes. Sanogo headed over the bar from a Cazorla cross in the 66th minute before Cazorla had an effort blocked five minutes later.

Sensing the need to shake up his side's attack, Wenger introduced Lukas Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for Sanogo and Cazorla in the 77th minute. But Leicester carved out the next clear chance, hitting Arsenal with a dangerous counter in the 83rd minute. Jamie Vardy led the way, exchanging passes with Andy King before forcing a fine save from Szczesny with a first-time shot.

In the end, Arsenal's substitutions proved ineffective as well, as the Gunners laboured to a second draw in three Premier League matches this season.

 

Grades

Leicester City Player Ratings
Starting XIHalf-TimeFull-Time
Kasper Schmeichel6.37.0
Ritchie de Laet6.88.2
Wes Morgan6.46.9
Liam Moore6.16.6
Paul Konchesky6.26.5
Riyad Mahrez6.77.6
Dean Hammond6.16.5
Andy King6.27.4
Jeffrey Schlupp7.07.6
David Nugent6.16.4
Leonardo Ulloa7.47.6
SubstitutesHalf-TimeFull-Time
Marc Albrighton (for Mahrez, 64')N/A6.0
Jamie Vardy (for Schlupp, 70')N/A6.6
Daniel Drinkwater (for Ulloa, 77')N/A6.5
Ratings via WhoScored.com
Arsenal Player Ratings
Starting XIHalf-TimeFull-Time
Wojciech Szczesny6.27.2
Mathieu Debuchy6.88.1
Per Mertesacker6.57.3
Laurent Koscielny5.9N/A
Nacho Monreal6.46.9
Mathieu Flamini6.16.5
Alexis Sanchez7.27.5
Aaron Ramsey6.67.3
Santi Cazorla6.77.7
Mesut Ozil6.37.3
Yaya Sanogo6.86.8
SubstitutesHalf-TimeFull-Time
Calum Chambers (for Koscielny, 26')6.27.1
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (for Cazorla, 77')N/A6.4
Lukas Podolski (for Sanogo, 77')N/A6.0
Ratings via WhoScored.com

 

Post-Match Reaction

 

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