Arsenal suffered another damaging defeat at the hands of Leicester City on Sunday, thanks partly to a soft first-half red card, but not helped by a poor overall performance.
Unai Emery clearly had a gameplan to sit back and hit Leicester on the counter-attack, but the players weren’t able to execute on that. The Gunners’ counters were toothless and they didn’t look any more defensively solid despite all the men behind the ball.
Given that it clearly wasn’t working, tactical changes needed to be made, but by half-time it was already too late. Ainsley Maitland-Niles was sent off after picking up two yellow cards for his only two fouls in the match, and Arsenal never looked like winning after that.
Leicester made the breakthrough in the 59th minute through an impressive early cross and headed finish, before Jamie Vardy padded his stats a bit with two goals in the final five minutes.
Let’s have a look at our individual player ratings for the match.
Goalkeeper and Defence
Bernd Leno 7
Unlike in midweek, when Leno was very much at fault for the three goals Arsenal conceded, this time the Gunners had him to thank that the scoreline wasn’t much worse.
The German made nine saves and couldn’t have done anything about the first and third goal. Perhaps he could’ve come off his line a bit more quickly for the second, but he kept Arsenal in the game for as long as he could, the forwards just didn’t capitalise.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles 3
Maitland-Niles barely had an impact on the game for the opening half an hour, but his red card was the turning point from which Arsenal couldn’t return. The yellows were both harsh.
Shkodran Mustafi 3
Mustafi started decently, but it only took 15 minutes or so for him to be caught out by a ball in behind he expected the goalkeeper to come for. After that, he was as inconsistent as ever, making some good tackles and winning some aerial duels but making just as many silly fouls and positioning errors.
In the second half the centre-back played at right-back, and it would be unfair to judge him too harshly on that. It’s not his position.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos 2
Sokratis had a really poor game, failing to track runners and needing Koscielny and even Mustafi to bail him out on a few occasions. He didn’t make a tackle all match.
Sead Kolasinac 3.5
Kolasinac made the most tackles and interceptions of any Arsenal player, but he was still caught out of position a few times. In possession, his final ball was average at best.