As it happened: Ruthless Leicester dent Arsenal's top four hopes once more
Photo: Getty Images - Plumb Images

As it happened: Ruthless Leicester dent Arsenal's top four hopes once more

Follow live text commentary of Leicester vs Arsenal in the Premier League. Kick off is set for 12pm BST.

mattddawson
Matt Dawson
Leicester CitySchmeichel, Pereira, Evans, Maguire, Chilwell, Ndidi, Tielemans, Choudhury, Albrighton, Maddison, Vardy.
ArsenalLeno, Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Sokratis, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Torreira, Mkhitaryan, Iwobi, Aubameyang, Lacazette.
SCOREMaitland-Niles, red card, min. 36, Tielemans goal, 1-0, min. 59, Vardy goal, 2-0, min. 86, Vardy goal, 3-0, min. 95.
INCIDENTSPremier League fixture between Leicester and Arsenal at the King Power Stadium.
Goodbye
That's all we've got time for from this game. We'll have a report and reaction from this game very shortly, as well as reports from the other two fixtures today. Thanks for joining me. 
FULL TIME
Jamie Vardy continues his outstanding run against Arsenal. He just can't stop scoring at the moment either. The Foxes' midfield were absolutely dominating too. 
FULL TIME
Another away defeat for Arsenal. Their problems towards the back end of this season are mounting under Unai Emery. Their defence have shipped nine goals in the space of a week and it's gone from bad to worse. Leicester, on the other hand, were excellent. Their turnaround under Rodgers has been magnificent. 
FULL TIME: Leicester 3-0 Arsenal
Brilliant performance from Leicester. 
GOAL LEICESTER - VARDY (3-0)
94' Oh dear. This is embarrassing for Arsenal. Ricardo Pereira does outstandingly well to burst through past Kolasinac and Koscielny before teeing up Vardy who notches his second of the game.
93' Almost a third for Leicester! Barnes races away from Sokratis but sticks his shot straight at Leno. He's been excellent since coming on. 
GOAL LEICESTER - VARDY (2-0)
86' Terrible defending from Arsenal but Vardy won't care. A long ball is thumped forward and the forward gets in between Sokratis and Mustafi before bearing down on goal. He lobs Leno and it comes back off the bar but Vardy is there again to head home the rebound. Leicester have been excellent today. 
Leicester change
85' A final sub from Brendan Rodgers as Marc Albrighton is replaced by Demarai Gray. 
84' Brilliant defending from Harry Maguire! As Eddie Nketiah looks to twist and fire home following a free-kick, the centre-back comes across and makes a superb challenge. 
Leicester change
79' Nampalys Mendy comes on for Choudhury. 
Arsenal sub
79' An interesting final throw of the dice from Emery as Nketiah replaces Lacazette. 
74' Well if it hadn't have been for Leno today then Leicester would be two or three in front. Harvey Barnes hits a lovely strike from just outside the area which the German is alert to and he's then in the way of Choudhury's follow up. 
Arsenal sub
74' Matteo Guendouzi is on for Henrikh Mkhitaryan. 
73' So close from Tielemans! The Belgian has been brilliant today and he almost doubles Leicester's lead. He tries to curl an effort from range but it goes inches wide of the far post. 
YELLOW CARD
70' Chilwell's turn to go into the book as he brings down Sokratis who was rampaging into the Leicester half. 
YELLOW CARD
64' Sokratis goes into the book after blocking off Maddison. 
GOAL LEICESTER - TIELEMANS (1-0)
59' Brilliant from Leicester and the Foxes have a deserved lead! Maddison plays a lovely ball into the box and Youri Tielemans heads home from close range unmarked. What a signing the Belgian midfielder has been for them. 
57' Good play from Albrighton down the right who swings a cross in towards Vardy but Koscielny comes across to snuff it out. 
49' The awkward thing for Arsenal here is that they need to win this game. They can't afford to sit back which is what you'd traditionally do being a goal down. It'll be interesting to see how this one plays out. 
Arsenal sub
46' We're back underway in the second half and Arsenal have indeed made a change. Laurent Koscielny is on for Alex Iwobi. Leicester have also made a change with Harvey Barnes coming on for Ndidi.
HALF TIME
Unai Emery has been no a stranger to a half time sub this season and we could well see another on the cards given the Gunners are down to ten men. 
HALF TIME
Arsenal have yet again been really poor. Leicester, on the other hand, have been excellent and are unfortunate not to be ahead. Jamie Vardy has looked a menace whilst Maddison is having a big influence on the game. 
HALF TIME: Leicester 0-0 Arsenal
The scores are level at the break but Arsenal are down to ten. 
42' Vardy again gets in behind but his shot towards Leno's near post is kept out. 
RED CARD - ARSENAL
36' Arsenal were already struggling on their right-hand side and their task has now got even tougher. Maitland-Niles is late with his challenge and as a result, he picks up his second booking and a red card. That's a second red in successive games at the King Power for the Gunners. Konstantinos Mavropanos was sent off here last season. 
35' Fantastic chance for Alex Iwobi and he simply has to score. Aubameyang feeds him one-on-one and he sticks his shot straight at Schmeichel from eight yards out. 
32' Rather unsurprisingly Vardy is causing all sorts of problems down the channels. He gets his first chance of the game, beating Sokratis to the ball in behind but lobbing the ball over both Leno and the crossbar. 
28' Brilliant from Leno! The German is called into action again and this is a fantastic save. Maddison's corner is met by the head of Ndidi but it's clawed away as it looked destined for the far corner. 
27' Leicester are playing really well here and they now force Bernd Leno into his first save. Vardy plays Maddison down the right but his shot is parried behind. 
26' Maitland-Niles is having a torrid time against Chilwell. The left-back again advances down the left and then beats him to the byline but Torreira comes across to stop the cross.
23' Far better from Arsenal and they could easily be in front here. Aubameyang sprints at the Brighton backline and then feeds Iwobi on the left. He crosses for Lacazette but he smashes wide on the volley. 
19' Leicester having all of the ball here and they've just gone close again. Maddison lines up a shot from the edge of the box but drags it wide. 
15' Ben Chilwell getting plenty of space down the left here in the opening exchanges. His cross almost causes confusion between Mustafi and Leno but the Arsenal stopper is able to gather at the second attempt. 
YELLOW CARD
13' A second yellow card of the game. This time it's a Leicester man that goes into the book as Ndidi is cautioned for a tackle on Xhaka. 
12' The ball falls kindly to Tielemans on the edge of the box but he gets his volley all wrong and it bounces wide. 
10' Lucas Torreira down momentarily receiving treatment after a challenge from Hamza Choudhury. The Uruguayan is fine to continue, though. 
YELLOW CARD
8' We have our first booking. Ainsley Maitland-Niles picks up a caution after shoving Ben Chilwell to the floor.
7' Best chance of the game so far and it's gone Leicester's way. Again the Gunners switch off from a free-kick but Jonny Evans' free header is straight at Leno. 
6' A little glimpse there of Kolo Toure in the Leicester dug out. The former Arsenal man is now a member of the Foxes' coaching staff under Rodgers. 
5' A first chance of the game for Arsenal as Mkhitaryan feeds Aubameyang down the right. He beats Maguire at the byline and then plays a cross in which is put behind for a corner. The set play comes to nothing, however. 
5' Leicester quite content to just knock it around inside their own half for the time being. 
3' Arsenal play an incredibly high line from the free-kick and it almost proves to be their downfall. Maddison's ball into the area finds Ndidi in space but he fails to take the ball down properly. 
2' It's taken just a matter of minutes for Mustafi to make his first error of the game. He rushes into a challenge on Maddison and Leicester have a free-kick about 35 yards from goal. 
1' Peeep, the referee blows his whistle and we are underway in the Midlands! 
The teams are on their way out in Leicester, we're moments away from kick off. 
Top four race
Top four is officially out of Arsenal's hands after their defeat against Wolves in midweek. However, Spurs' defeat yesterday has given them a big helping hand. They'll also need Chelsea to drop points this weekend. 

As for Leicester's European hopes, a win here would take them two points behind Wolves in the race for seventh place. 

Any questions or match thoughts during the game then ping them my way on Twitter @mattddawson and I'll be delighted to share them on here. 

We're just over 15 minutes away from kick-off at the King Power. 

Arsenal women also in action
For all of you Arsenal fans out there that are worried about the Gunners chances today, then they can take comfort in the fact that their women's team is likely to win the WSL title. 


They take on Brighton today knowing that a win will clinch them the league. They kick-off at 12:15pm, just 15 minutes after this one gets underway. 

There is no Ozil in the Arsenal squad today because of a bruised foot. This may have been the perfect opportunity for Denis Saurez to feature but he's also injured. The Spaniard has played just 95 minutes since joining on loan from Barcelona in January.
Choudhury starts
There is a rare start for Hamza Choudhury today. Around the Christmas period he looked in exceptional form but has only been a bit part since then. However, whenever he has played he's looked impressive. Harvey Barnes again has to settle for a place on the bench. 
Mustafi returns
The news every Arsenal fan would have been dreading at 11am this morning, Shkodran Mustafi is back among the defence and he is partnered alongside Sokratis.There is no Ozil so Mkhitaryan and Iwobi start, as do Lacazette and Aubameyang. There are places on the bench for youngsters Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock
Leicester starting XI
Schmeichel, Pereira, Evans, Maguire, Chilwell, Ndidi, Tielemans, Choudhury, Albrighton, Maddison, Vardy.

Subs: Ward, Soyuncu, Fuchs, Mendy, Gray, Barnes, Iheanacho. 

Arsenal starting XI:
Leno, Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Sokratis, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Torreira, Mkhitaryan, Iwobi, Aubameyang, Lacazette. 

Subs: Cech, Koscielny, Mavropanos, Elneny, Guendouzi, Willock, Nketiah. 

No Ozil?
Some potential early team news here. Word is that Mesut Ozil wasn't seen coming off the Arsenal coach at the King Power.
Team news is right around the corner. 
Countdown to kick off
That's all your pre-match build up for now. Join us at around 11am BST for confirmed starting XI's before the action gets underway. 
Rodgers expecting a tough game
Rodgers also had plenty to say in the build-up. Assessing Arsenal he told reporters: “When you’re up challenging in particular at this period of the season, the games come thick and fast. They’re still doing a great job in the Europa League and they’re up there fighting, so they’re playing midweek.

“The squad… at times the tiredness and fatigue has set in at this period of the season, but they’ve got top players who will be focused on doing well."

However, the Scot was all too aware that the Gunners will be fighting hard to bounce back: 

“Sometimes, the big teams, whenever they lose, it’s when the opposition maybe think there’s a vulnerability, but they always like to fight back.

“We’ll prepare for a really tough game at the weekend, but we’re excited by it because it’s these types of games that we want to be involved in.”

Emery speaks about need for defensive consistency
Speaking ahead of their trip to the King Power this weekend, Unai Emery has urged his side to find consistency. He said: “Each team is very difficult home and away. It’s our preparation with respect but also thinking about how we can fight to battle them. Individually for Sunday the first target is to think in our capacity and be consistent defensively and offensively. We need to adapt to them, but I think both are very important. We need to prepare ourselves and also adapt for them."

The Spaniard then also spoke about the Foxes, commenting:

“They’ve changed the coach. This coach has given them a new energy, a new idea, a new style. He’s not changed the players, but it’s a different system. They’re doing important work from set-pieces that’s different. They feel good now and are in a good moment with confidence. They play with combinations and they have good individuals."

Arsenal lacking inspiration
Arsenal, meanwhile, are in need of some inspiration, particularly in the absence of Ramsey. Unai Emery may well turn to Ozil, who turned in arguably his best performance of the season in the reverse fixture, contributing a goal and an assist.

Should Alexandre Lacazette be tasked with leading the line, he will be looking to score his first league goal since the 2-0 win against Newcastle at the very start of the month. Only four of his 13 strikes have come away from the Emirates.

The Leicester threat
Jamie Vardy will be confident of heaping further misery on Arsenal’s much-maligned defence, having scored seven goals in as many games since Brendan Rodgers took over. The Englishman has three goals against the Premier League’s ‘big six’ so far this season.

Another player Arsenal will be forced to keep an eye on is January signing Youri Tielemans, who has hit the ground running in England.

Over the course of his eleven games in a blue shirt, the midfielder has been directly involved in seven goals (two goals, five assists).

Team news
For Arsenal, Aubameyang, who has two goals in his last three Premier League games, is a slight doubt after undergoing a procedure to address a sinus problem.

Denis Suarez (groin) and Aaron Ramsey (hamstring) are definitely out, while Bellerin (knee), Rob Holding (anterior cruciate ligament) and Danny Welbeck (ankle) remain sidelined.

Daniel Amartey is out for Leicester, but aside from that, it is a clean bill of health for the hosts.

Leicester have eyes on Europe
The Foxes, for their part, have their eyes on seventh place and the opportunity to compete in next season’s Europa League.


They will be eager to return to winning ways after seeing a four-game winning streak halted by a home loss against Newcastle and a draw away at West Ham.

Last meeting
Back in October, though, they did turn in a sizzling performance to beat Leicester 3-1 at The Emirates. Mesut Ozil was on hand to equalise for the Gunners after Hector Bellerin's own goal. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang then netted twice. 
Arsenal's wretched away form
Arsenal’s top four hopes have been dealt successive blows with defeats against Crystal Palace and Wolves, making this virtually a must-win game for the Gunners.

Worryingly, they have won just two of their Premier League away games in 2019 and lost this fixture by three goals to one at a similar stage last season.

Welcome
Hello and welcome to VAVEL UK's live text commentary of Leicester vs Arsenal in the Premier League. Kick off is set for 12pm BST and we'll have all the pre-match build-up courtesy of Dave Comerford. Matt Dawson will then be here to take you through all of the match action as it happens. Stay tuned. 
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