10-man Arsenal slipped to a discouraging draw against Leicester City on Tuesday, despite holding a lead for over an hour of the match.
After a fairly slow start, Arsenal really grew into the first half. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened the scoring, but they could easily have made it three or four before the break, with plenty of shots on goal forcing a few great saves.
Leicester started to make a bit of a comeback after the break, but Arsenal seemed to be clinging on well until a red card to Eddie Nketiah. After that, it was attack against defence and seemed only a matter of time until an equaliser.
Eventually, Jamie Vardy put one away to make it 1-1. Arsenal’s 10 men didn’t really have the players, let alone the control over the game or the energy, to go and score a winner after that, so they played out the draw.
Let’s have a look at our player ratings for the match.
- Emi Martinez 8 – Despite failing to keep a clean sheet this time, Martinez had little chance with the goal and made plenty of good saves. As well as getting down to the ball well, he also made it stick, which wasn’t easy in the slippery conditions.
- Shkodran Mustafi 7 – Will be a little disappointed for the goal, as he (apparently) played Vardy onside but didn’t stay tight to him. He’d already made a crucial block from the striker, though, and generally had a solid game.
- David Luiz 6.5 – For once, he actually took a decent free-kick, but forcing a save occasionally isn’t worth all the ones he sends into the stands. Had a somewhat quieter game than his two defensive partners.
- Sead Kolasinac 6.5 – Played on the front foot in the last couple of games, pressuring the man in possession on every counter. It worked well in the first half, as he won three interceptions, but he clearly got tired and struggled more in the second.
Midfield and Wing-Backs
- Hector Bellerin 7 – Created a great chance for Lacazette, with a lovely chipped through-ball. Showed a fair bit of improvement over recent starts, but as with so many others, he fell away a bit in the second half.
- Dani Ceballos 8 – Another excellent performance similar to his Norwich display, at least for the first half. When he’s on it, he’s really on it, and he played a great ball to Saka in the build-up to Arsenal’s goal. Faded understandably as Arsenal saw less of the ball.
- Granit Xhaka 6.5 – Didn’t win many of his duels, for once, perhaps tiring after so many games recently. Not a great sign ahead of the North London derby. Useful in possession, as usual, setting up attacks well in the first half.
- Kieran Tierney 7.5 – Caused lots of problems down the left-hand side again, beating his man effectively and getting lots of crosses in. It didn’t quite lead to anything but he put it into great areas. Also solid at the back.
- Bukayo Saka 7.5 – Found the right final ball once again to set up Aubameyang’s goal, his 12 assists of the season. Would have scored himself if not for a couple of saves and an excellent Soyuncu interception. Came off early as Arteta adjusted to try and protect the lead.
- Alexandre Lacazette 6.5 – Overall, this was a better Lacazette performance than any of his recent starts. However, that comes with the huge caveat that he just didn’t finish his chances. There was one good save from Schmeichel but he should’ve done much better with his header late in the first half.
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 7.5 – Unlike Lacazette, Aubameyang took his one good chance, albeit an easier one to score. Came close to setting up Saka for a second as well. Barely had anything to work with in the second half.
- Joe Willock 6 – All the subs suffered from Arsenal hardly having the ball in the final 20 minutes, Willock included. He tried his best to press when the team went down to 10. Could have done better with a late half-chance to get into the box.
- Eddie Nketiah N/A – The red was harsh, as it was clearly accidental as the ball came over his shoulder. He lifted his foot to control it and by the time the Leicester man appeared in his field of vision, it was too late to stop. No sympathy from the referees, though, and he didn’t make another touch before that.
- Lucas Torreira 6 – Made a couple of interceptions in his brief cameo.
- Ainsley Maitland-Niles N/A – Probably only came on to prevent an Aubameyang injury from fatigue.