1. Unai Emery’s three at the back switch
Unai Emery threw a selection curveball with his Arsenal team, opting to utilise a three-at-the-back, installing Rob Holding and Callum Chambers alongside David Luiz with Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac as the wing-backs.
Arsenal’s squad is not necessarily unsuitable for such a set-up, and though they rather invited Leicester City on to them with a passive style, if implemented correctly the system could secure Arsenal defensively.
2. Leicester show their worth in entertaining first half
The first half was pulsating fare, with Leicester outstanding, setting the tempo and threatening in a variety of ways with their attacking play.
Brendan Rodgers’ side can trouble you in so many with creativity and pace from the full-backs, dynamism and threat cutting inside from the wings and two outstanding creators in Youri Tielemans and James Maddison. They move the ball superbly in the final third and in Jamie Vardy have one of the best pure scorers in the league. There is a reason they are in the top four, and that is that they are one of the four best teams in the country.
3. Chambers’ vital touch
One of the reasons the game was goalless at half-time was due to the slightest of touches from a sliding Callum Chambers at the far post. After a ribbon-cutting Leicester attack, Ayoze Perez found a gorgeous curled cross towards Jamie Vardy withdrawn to the left.
It appeared to be arcing perfectly into the path of Leicester’s striker, and Vardy readied himself with a leap to turn the ball home with his right boot. But Chambers in his recovering slide caught just a smidge of the curling ball, just enough in fact to divert the ball, taking it between the legs of Vardy with goal agape and away. Arsenal held out until half-time.
4. Teams trade chances as game opens up
The start of the second half was utterly enthralling, end-to-end stuff as both sides attacked and attacked some more. Leicester produced the more competent and maintained attacking movements, interchanging passes beautifully to move through the Arsenal defence, while the visitors looked to hit back on the counter, and both sides had chances.
First Wilfred Ndidi could only fire against the bar when he really should have scored after fine work along the byline from Ricardo Pereira, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang thought he had found the opener only to see the offside flag (correctly) raised.
5. Vardy gets his goal
If any one player was to decide this game, it had to be Jamie Vardy. The striker heavily considered a move to Arsenal after Leicester’s Premier League triumph but opted to instead stay with the Foxes and push for further success, and, in hindsight, that looks a good decision.
He found a goal just as Leicester seemed to be tiring from the toil as Arsenal frustrated well, sweeping home from inside the box to finish off a lovely passing move – one of many that Leicester produced during the 90 minutes. James Maddison’s crisp drive into bottom corner capped another such movement to secure a well-deserved three points.
The Foxes move up to second in the Premier League table, and, pending the result of Manchester City’s visit to Liverpool, could close the weekend just five points off the top of the table.