Arsenal 1-1 Leicester City: Vardy’s late goal salvages draw for Foxes
Arsenal 1-1 Leicester City: Jamie Vardy’s late goal salvages draw for Foxes against 10-man Gunners as Eddie Nketiah sees a red card.
But Nketiah lasted just three minutes as a second-half sub, seeing red following a VAR review for a challenge on James Justin – and with Arsenal down to 10 men, Vardy maintained his two-goal gap on Aubameyang in the race for the golden boot with a late strike.
Mikel Arteta opted for two changes with an all-important north London derby also to come on Sunday. Alexander Lacazette and Hector Bellerin came into the side while Matteo Guendouzi remained absent altogether. Nicolas Pepe returned to the squad after the birth of his child.
Leicester entered the game having been dragged into a Champions League battle as Chelsea leapfrogged them into third prior to the game, while four wins on the bounce for Arsenal had put them back into contention.
It was the home side who struck first following a frantic opening 20 minutes. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tapped home into an empty net after a terrific right-footed cross from Bukayo Saka.
Arsenal continued to press, but while Lacazette should have made it 2-0, it was Leicester who had the ball in the back of the net next. Kelechi Iheanacho‘s volleyed effort was immediately ruled out, however, after he dragged Mustafi down in the build-up.
Leicester started the second half the brighter, Arteta opting for a double change as the visitors grew into the game. Eddie Nketiah’s rash challenge put an immediate halt to the Spaniard’s plans, however, as referee Chris Kavanagh – with the help of the touchline monitor – showed him a red card just four minutes into his introduction.
The visitors’ response was instant, with Jamie Vardy scoring his 22nd league goal of the season to move Leicester level with five minutes remaining. VAR took a long look at the decision, with the 33-year-old dangerously close to being offside. He was adjudged to have been inline, however, and the goal stood.
Leicester continued to press in the dying minutes but to no avail. Arsenal stood firm to claim the draw. Indeed, Arsenal showed glimpses of promise again -, particularly in the first half. But that was two points dropped for Arteta.
Arsenal would have moved above Wolves and into sixth place with a win, but the draw leaves them seventh, now five points behind Manchester United who has a game in hand.
Leicester remains fourth, having won just one game from six following the restart. A Champions League spot – which seemed all-but-guaranteed prior to the break – is now hanging in the balance.