Jamie Vardy came off the bench to score the winner as Leicester City beat Arsenal 1-0 at the Emirates.
Here is what we made of it …
Brendan Rodgers masterclass
There is a weekly check on the OneFootball podcast about the ‘Brendan Rodgers fraud-o-meter’ and how well or how much of a ‘fraud’ the Leicester boss has been that week.
There can be no doubt that he deserves all the glowing criticism that will come his way after his team’s performance at Arsenal.
Leicester had to make do without their talisman Jamie Vardy, from the start anyway, due to the striker having to recover from a calf injury that had kept him out of the last two games.
The Foxes had lost those two games without scoring and so something had to change in their approach heading to the Emirates tonight.
Rodgers’ had set the team up to defend and frustrate Mikel Arteta’s men and then to see where they were in the last 30 minutes when Vardy could come off the bench.
It was a game plan that worked to perfection with Arsenal struggling to break the lines of the Leicester defence throughout, and then like clockwork, the 33-year-old enters the fray and puts away the one chance his team had all game.
It wasn’t pretty but it worked, and Rodgerss deserves all the plaudits.
Is Lacazette a problem?
Arsenal weren’t awful this evening, but it’s another creative performance that will frustrate their supporters nonetheless.
The Gunners were more creative and looked more threatening in the first 45 minutes than they have done all season but the visitors had worked out how to manage the threat as the game grew older leaving Arsenal’s attacking patterns looking predictable.
In another world Alexandre Lacazette’s header in the fourth minute would have stood and the Frenchman would be earning the plaudits as the match winner.
Instead, we’re going to ask the question about whether Arteta should persist with the 29-year-old in the starting line-up.
Lacazette’s work rate has improved and he offers the team an ‘out ball’ with his ability to hold the ball up but he looks more like a hindrance than a help at the moment.
Arteta has to play Lacazette down the middle meaning Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is shifted out on to the wing, and although he has been solid out there, he cannot be as effective as he would be up front.
The fluidity of this Arsenal team vastly improves with Nicolas Pépé and Bukayo Saka playing supporting roles to Aubameyang and perhaps it’s time to audition the trio rather than sticking with the former Lyon man.
This was a much improved performance in terms of creating chances from the Gunners but their attack is still hard to watch and easy to deal with at times.
Could a change do the trick?
Vardy haunts Arsenal yet again
Jamie Vardy loves scoring against Arsenal, doesn’t he?
His 80th minute winner was his 11th goal in 12 appearances against the Gunners, behind only Wayne Rooney for the most goals scored against Arsenal in the Premier League era.
There seemed an inevitability as soon as he entered the pitch on the 60th minute that he would have a say in the outcome of this game, and low and behold a Leicester team that hadn’t threatened all game suddenly find themselves with an open goal to aim at.
Rodgers will have to find a plan for what to do without their talisman at some point this season.
The Foxes hadn’t scored in the previous two league games while Vardy was injured and they never looked like doing so tonight before he arrived, even if the plan was to stifle the hosts.
At 33, and with the Europa League to deal with this season, Leicester will have to play a number of games without their plan A.
But what a plan A he is.