VARdied again

Different game if Vardy had joined Arsenal when Wenger came knocking four years ago.

Different game if Paul Tierney, the VAR referee had done his job properly. He knocked off a good goal through a subjective decision, as subsequently confirmed by MoTD.

Ceballos, Xhaka and Partey took the midfield spots, with the Ghanaian in the middle, and Saka up front with Lacazette and Aubameyang. Vardy, with ten goals against Arsenal in the last eleven, and three from the last three was threateningly on the bench.

Fofana from the same club and defence as William Gabriel Saliba, for a similar price started

Maddison returned and Barnes played the false number 9.

Leicester finished above Arsenal last season – so a good test of Arsenal’s progress. Although they hadn’t won at either Highbury or the Emirates since 1973.

With several injuries, Leicester came with a plan to frustrate Arsenal with a deep defence 5-4-1 and catch them on the break, particularly in the last half hour. It emphasised the need for a creative midfielder for the home side to break the lines. Particularly as Arsenal have only scored eight goals in the Premiership this season.

Leno came out and alarmingly in the first ten, as per Vienna, sent it straight to an opposition player, in this case Maddison who tried to lob it into an empty net.

Lacazette flicked on a corner and Xhaka who was behind Schmeichel jumped out of the way and watched the ball go into the net. VAR erroneously judged the Swiss as interfering with the goalkeeper and it was disallowed.

Lacazette tried to flick it over Tielemans who gave a free kick away. Xhaka sent in a tame effort.

Luiz, who was firing some accurate crossfield passes, sent a long ball for Bellerin but the ball got away from him. Lacazette set up Saka for a shot which rebounded for a corner, which resulted in a tame shot by Saka.

Tierney sent in a good cross but Aubameyang headed over. And then sent in another  but Lacazette’s header was soft.  A potential handball and high boot from Fuch’s, was deemed no penalty via VAR.

Tierney again passed to Lacazette, but he missed a header.

Barnes broke and was fouled by Bellerin who was booked. Fuchs came in with a late tackle and was also booked.

Gabriel sent in a couple of good balls to Saka. Aubameyang found space and shot – over.

Another good move saw Ceballos cross to Saka. Arsenal had the most attempts in a half under Arteta.

At the start of the second, Luiz couldn’t carry on due to a thigh injury and Mustafi came on for his first game of the season.

Maddison tried a chip after pinching it off Gabriel, but Leno had plenty of time. Castagne picked it off Xhaka and a Leicester attack went for a corner.

Vardy came on for Praet with half an hour to go.

A visible talisman, Leicester’s play was transformed. They went up a gear and were far more threatening. Pepe came on for Saka.

Tielemans received the ball in midfield. Immediately, the substitute Under and Vardy sprinted goalwards. A lofted pass found Under, and Vardy had acres of space in the centre to head home a dinked cross.

The Leicester defence retreated, aided and abetted by sly nudges on Nketiah and Pepe respectively as they got into dangerous positions.

Vardy had the beating of Mustafi, and Leno saved with his head, one on one from Vardy.

Pepe had two chances to send in dangerous crosses but failed on both.

Vardy said: “It is big for us. We had a couple of bad results. The idea was to nullify space and get our wing backs on to their full backs, quick passing onto their back line and break the press.”

Mikel Arteta said: “We had total control in first-half. We created some good chances. They defended deeper in the second half, waiting for the mistake and in one moment they did it. They caught us with space at the back and in that moment, we lost the game.”

Brendan Rogers said: “47 years is a long time. It was a good performance, with good concentration.”

Arsenal: Leno, David Luiz (Substituted for Mustafi at 49), Magalhães, Xhaka (Booked at 90), Bellerín (Booked at 30), Partey, Ceballos, Tierney (Substituted for Nketiah at 81), Aubameyang, Lacazette (Booked at 57),Saka (Substituted for Pépé at 65)

Leicester: Schmeichel, Fofana (Booked at 52), Evans (Booked at 74),Fuchs (Booked at 32),Castagne, Tielemans (Booked at 41),Mendy, Justin, Praet (Substituted for Vardy at 60), Maddison (Booked at 67, Substituted for Albrighton at 85), Barnes (Substituted for Ünder at 75)