Lacazette 4/10 as Arsenal lose to late Leicester goal

A disappointing 1-0 defeat for Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium means that visitors Leicester City, rather than the hosts, climb into the top four of the Premier League.

Both teams started the evening on nine points and there was little to choose between them in a game broadly devoid of quality. However, it was Leicester that seemingly came to life in the last 20 minutes, winning at Arsenal for the first time since 1973 thanks to a header from substitute Jamie Vardy.

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Arsenal started the brighter of the two sides and had enough chances to take the lead before the break, Alexander Lacazette squandering several opportunities and even having a goal disallowed after several of his teammates were adjudged to have been offside. The Gunners ran out of steam, and Leicester’s game plan seemed to work to perfection when Vardy scored the winner.


Arsenal took the game to the visitors in the first half and had they been sharper around goal, they could have had a commanding lead by half-time. Arsenal’s attacking play was incisive before the break, their deliveries from wide areas particularly impressive. Thomas Partey looked good in parts on his full Premier League debut.


It was a poor performance overall. Lacazette should have put the Gunners ahead before half-time, and you have to wonder whether Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would have done better had he played more centrally. Aubameyang was quiet all evening, and Arsenal tend to struggle when he’s off his game.

Manager rating (out of 10)

5 — Arteta was outsmarted by Brendan Rodgers, and Gunners fans will continue to question his decision to play Lacazette centrally at the expense of Aubameyang. The Spaniard tried to inject some life into his side’s attack by introducing Nicolas Pepe and moving Aubameyang to the centre, but it was too little, too late.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Bernd Leno, 6 — The German keeper almost got his team off to the worst possible start when he cleared straight to James Maddison in a dangerous position. Thankfully, the Leicester midfielder spared his blushes. Arsenal’s No. 1 was comfortable after that, but could do little to stop Vardy’s header.

DF Hector Bellerin, 6 — The Spaniard’s passing and crossing ability in the final third was impressive, the 25-year-old always looking for the insightful pass. He forced Kasper Schmeichel into a save with Arsenal’s first effort of the second half.

DF David Luiz, 6 — Enjoyed a comfortable first half for the Brazilian who, with Vardy on the bench, had all the time in the world in possession. He was constantly looking to unleash Tierney or Bellerin into threatening positions. Unfortunately, he was forced off early in the second half with an apparent injury.

DF Gabriel, 5 — Occasionally wasteful in possession, but he has this knack of being in the right place at the right time.

DF Kieran Tierney, 7 — The Scot was a positive attacking threat throughout, showcasing his excellent crossing ability when he delivered two pinpoint crosses for Lacazette in quick succession.

MF Granit Xhaka, 6 — The Swiss midfielder displayed good passing in attacking areas early on. He was adjudged to have been interfering with play when Lacazette headed home early on, which looked to a harsh decision even after review. His influence diminished as the game wore on.

MF Thomas Partey, 6 — Awarded his first start and was a commanding presence in the middle of the park. He was always looking for possession from the defence, though he didn’t always get it.

MF Dani Ceballos, 5 — A typically tenacious performance, though he struggled to influence play too much given how he was kept busy with Maddison and Youri Tielemans.

FW Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 5 — Playing wide on the right, he probably looked on with Lacazette’s chances with envy. Had a quiet game and was often on the periphery of things, only really contributing with a cross deep into the second half.

FW Alexandre Lacazette, 4 — The Frenchman should have scored at least one goal before half-time. He did actually find the net, only for his header to be ruled out for offside. However, his two subsequent chances should have been converted. At least he keeps getting scoring opportunities…

FW Bukayo Saka, 5 — After a lively start from the youngster, he drifted in and out of the game. Could and should have done better when presented with a clear chance to volley from Bellerin’s cross shortly before the break.


DF Shkodran Mustafi, 5 — The German defender was kept busy by the introduction of Jamie Vardy and was constantly under pressure with the ball at his feet.

FW Nicolas Pepe, 5 — The Frenchman was brought on to make an impact and unfortunately he failed to meet the brief. He moved to the right but got little change out of Leicester’s defence.

MF Edward Nketiah, N/R — The young striker was brought on late in the game as Arsenal chased a point, but he could do little to influence the match.