Ten-man Arsenal got battered at the King Power Stadium by a ‘Superior’ Leicester City side with a top-four place now looking extremely difficult.
If the loss to Wolves during midweek was a shot in the foot for Arsenal, then the failure to Leicester City was suicide. After three consecutive losses, a place in the top-four now looks all the more difficult, and this is a problem Arsenal have brought upon all by themselves. This was considered the most crucial week for the club and their top-four chances, instead they played thrice, conceded three goals in each game and lost all three.
At the King Power, Arsenal were comprehensively beaten by Leicester 3-0, with all those goals coming in the second half. Arsenal were the architects of their downfall, the foundation of which were laid down in the first half. The Gunners started rather dull, with the Foxes responsible for creating most of the chances.
The game looked rather dull until Ainsley Maitland-Niles was sent off for a second bookable offence. The sending off seemingly changed the tempo and balance of the game, handing Leicester with the initiative to take things forward from there on. Youri Tielemans did just that by scoring the opening goal, and while Arsenal did not even look like scoring an equaliser, Jamie Vardy joined the party to score a late brace.
Let’s see how Arsenal’s stars rated during yet another away loss, which has now seemingly ended any hopes of a top-four finish.
Bernd Leno – 8
By far the best Arsenal player on the pitch, that too after conceding three goals. He made amends for his horror show against Wolves with a string of wonderful saves, notably one from a Wilfred Ndidi header in the first half. Let down by his defence, despite being the shining star in a disappointing team performance.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 2
Not that Arsenal were playing with any enthusiasm until Maitland-Niles got sent off, but his red card certainly had an impact on the final result. While it could be deemed harsh for what he got the first yellow, the second one was undoubtedly a solid nail to earn a card. Either way, he was sent off and with that Arsenal’s top-four hopes blew to dust.
Sokratis – 3
The last game somewhat showed Sokratis’ dip in form and in this one, partnering Shkodran Mustafi, the defence was really exposed and open for the taking for the opposition. No communication whatsoever with Mustafi, while always allowing the likes of Vardy to run in behind him time and again. Poor effort from the Greek.
Mustafi – 2.5
The lack of communication has already been mentioned, but it was Mustafi, with yet another torrid performance that really allowed Arsenal to bow out of contention in the game. Allowing =Vardy to run in and playing him onside for countless times is one thing, but despite a visibly improved performance from the German, Arsenal ended up allowing three goals in the second half.
Sead Kolasinac – 4
No impact was made by Kolasinac during this game. That’s not to say he did not defend well, which in fact he did decently. However, his game is better when the team attacks, which they hardly did, and Nacho Monreal, if he had been fit, would have been the better choice for a conventional left-back.
Granit Xhaka – 5
He was responsible for the blunder that cost the first goal, but overall he was not a liability on the day. Played decently, and looked like someone who was trying to make things happen. Unfortunately, his enthusiasm was not shared by others.
Lucas Torreira – 4
There was certainly an effort put on the pitch by Torreira, but in recent games, it has not been enough. It was another game where Arsenal’s midfielders have not been able to control the area and thus costing the team. Torreira, in particular, failed to play his best game possible.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 3
If Arsenal needs a game changer in matches like these, Mkhitaryan is clearly not the man to look forward to. Created no chances, completed one dribble, although he did work somewhat hard to show for his failings. Another poor performance from the Armenian, and Arsenal might be right in considering selling him.
Alex Iwobi – 2
Iwobi needs to make massive improvements to his game, especially when he has the ball. He cannot be trusted anymore to make something happen with the ball and needs to learn lessons on how to use possession. Won’t be surprised if his role is reduced from hereon.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 5
Tried, really he did. Cut a frustrating figure when he and his team were unable to dictate terms of the game and the loss would have been devastating for a player of his quality, given how he has performed throughout the season. No service at all for Arsenal’s top scorer.
Alexandre Lacazette – 5
Credit to both Arsenal forwards, they really tried to make something happen, but all in vain. There was no one to support him from midfield or attacking lineup as he tried to force himself on the match.
Laurent Koscielny – 5.5
After Koscielny came on, he was by far the best defender, which makes one question why he didn’t start. Should be there in the starting XI for the next games.
Matteo Guendouzi – 4
Ran around a bit, but not the ideal choice of a player when you need goals.
Eddie Nketiah – 4
Apart from Emery trusting the youngster at such a precarious situation, there was nothing more to his game. In fact, sending him on in place of Lacazette was a sign the manager had given up any hope of revival against Leicester.