Unai Emery looked beaten up emotionally prior to the start. Much more subdued.
This was a game of what ifs?
Brendan Rodgers instead of Unai Emery? Jamie Vardy up front instead of Aubameyang; Jonny Evans for David Luiz, Söyüncü for Sokratis? All four had been linked with Arsenal in various forms.
Would another Arsenal defender be sent off following Maitland Niles and Mavrapanos on the previous visits? Could Arsenal improve on only two clean sheets in the last 24 in his 50th match.
Arsenal started with three at the back –Chambers, Luiz and Holding – allowing Ozil to start at 10 with Lacazette and Aubameyang up front and Bellerin with Kolasinac occupying the wing back positions.
Leicester are brimming with dangerous creative players and the early minutes saw Maddison feed Vardy, whose shot was saved by Leno.
Guendouzi pulled back Söyüncü in the area from a free kick but escaped censure.
But neat combination play between Ozil and Aubameyang saw Lacazette shoot wide.
Leicester’s ploy was obvious with Tielemans and Maddision feeding balls beyond the Arsenal back line for Vardy’s runs.
Bellerin and Holding thrown into first team action were looking rusty with some loose balls putting the defence in trouble at times.
Positionally Leicester’s backs, Chilwell and Ricardo continually created 2 on 1s, exploiting the spaces between the Arsenal centre backs and wing backs.
Arsenal had a good chance on 14 when Bellerin in an advanced position crossed, the ball rebounded off Aubameyang leaving Lacazette a great opportunity which he put wide of the post.
Holding lost Tielemans from a quick throw in and a dangerous cross was cleared by Chambers. And then was caught in possession and a Vardy attack had to be blocked.
Aubameyang’s run down the right created a couple of chances for Lacazette, the first blocked, the second scuffed and gathered by Schmeichel. Chambers was performing well averting danger from three crosses.
At the start of the second, Vardy sped down the left and put in a dangerous cross. And soon after Ricardo breaking down the right found Ndidi who hit the bar.
Evans came through with an Alec Ferguson Man U tackle on Ozil and was rightly booked.
Arsenal replied when Ozil combined with Kolasinac and Aubameyang finished neatly but it was offside.
Some sloppy passes limited Arsenal’s penetration when they countered.
Leicester probed a lot down the right with substitute Gray and a ball into the area was flicked by Barnes to Tielemans who found Vardy exploiting the unmarked space on the left who swept it home.
Five minutes later, another Arsenal attack broke down with Aubameyang, and Ndidi drove it on to Tielemans who found Vardy who touched it back for Maddison to shoot home – through Bellerin’s legs.
From that point on, Leicester dominated possession.
One of the more interesting post-match quotes was from Tony Adams on Ozil – “he’s the cherry on the cake but we don’t have a cake.”
Arsenal appear to be going backwards, with Emery’ record after 50 games worse than Wenger’s last 50. Although some fans are calling for his head, Arsenal have decided they will wait to see whether he can turn it around – and the support of the fans would no doubt help him and the club at this time rather than excoriation a la Xhaka.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo Pereira, Evans Booked at 55), Söyüncü, Chilwell, Ndidi, Pérez (Substituted for Gray at 60), Tielemans, Maddison, Barnes (Substituted for Praet at 74), Vardy
Arsenal: Leno, Chambers, David Luiz, Holding (Substituted for Pépé at 77), Bellerín (Booked at 88), Torreira (Substituted for Willockat 80), Guendouzi, Kolasinac, Özil, Lacazette, Aubameyang