Sunday 24 March 2019

Clinical Vardy haunts Wenger yet again

Leicester 3-1 Arsenal

Vardy: Thorn in Arsenal’s side. Photo: Getty
Vardy: Thorn in Arsenal’s side. Photo: Getty

Steve Madeley

There are many things Arsene Wenger will miss about the Premier League but Jamie Vardy is probably not one.

The Leicester City striker scored his sixth goal in his last six games against Wenger's Arsenal with a penalty that was the pivotal moment in defeat for the Frenchman in his penultimate game in charge of the Gunners.

When the King Power Stadium crowd showed their respect for Wenger in stoppage time, singing his name and giving him a standing ovation, the veteran Gunners boss seemed embarrassed as he waved in acknowledgement.

No wonder he felt awkward, having seen his 10-man side deservedly beaten by goals from Kelechi Iheanacho, Vardy and Riyad Mahrez.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger gives instructions from the touchline. Photo: Getty
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger gives instructions from the touchline. Photo: Getty

But defeat, despite Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang briefly levelling the scores at 1-1, left Wenger's men still without a point away from home in 2018.

Christian Fuchs' 14th-minute cross was helped back across goal by Fousseni Diabate and Iheanacho fired past Cech on the half-volley.

Just a minute later things got worse for the Gunners when Iheanacho blocked a casual pass by Konstantinos Mavropanos, who reacted by hauling down the Leicester forward to prevent him running at goal and was shown a straight red card.

On 53 minutes, Wenger's side were level as Ainsley Maitland-Niles tore down the right flank and crossed for Aubameyang, who scored at the second attempt after Jakupovic made a smart save from his initial shot.

Leicester made the Gunners pay with 14 minutes to play when Demarai Gray cut into the box and was tripped by Henrikh Mkhitaryan, with Vardy making no mistake with a penalty he drilled into the roof of the net.

Mahrez made sure of victory in the 90th minute when he sprung the offside trap and produced a fine finish to beat Cech.

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