Leicester City 1-3 Arsenal: Foxes felled as injuries take centre stage
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 28: Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal celebrates after scoring their team's second goal during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Arsenal at The King Power Stadium on February 28, 2021 in Leicester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Rui Vieira - Pool/Getty Images)

Leicester City suffered further injury woes as they were condemned to a 3-1 defeat against Arsenal at the King Power Stadium.

Harvey Barnes was removed from proceedings in the second half after suffering an apparent knee injury, Jonny Evans was also withdrawn with a knock late on. 

The result is only a second defeat in 13 outings for Leicester in the Premier League, but with an extensive injury list hindering their exhilarating season, concerns will begin to arise for boss Brendan Rodgers.

For Arsenal, the emphatic victory comes off the back of three defeats in their last four league games, and moves the Gunners up to ninth place above fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur, albeit temporarily.

  • Story of the match

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Foxes dwindle after bright start

Youri Tielemans gave the Foxes an early lead after opening the scoring with a drilled effort from the right side of the box, following questionable defensive efforts from the opposition back-line. 

However fortunes quickly changed towards the culmination of the first-half, when David Luiz latched onto a precise curling delivery from Willian to level after 40 minutes.

Leicester were then left rueing their defensive capabilities as a calamitous attempted clearance from Wilfred Ndidi resulted in the Nigerian midfielder handling inside the box, resulting in a penalty kick that was skilfully rifled into the back of the net by talisman Alexandre Lacazette

Leicester succumb to defeat in tepid second-half showing

A miserable afternoon continued for Leicester after the break, with tame defending from Willian's cross resulting in a simple tap-in for Nicolas Pepe - both players have come under scrutiny during their Arsenal tenure but excelled on the pitch today. 

Arsenal building on an encouraging week

After prevailing in a thrilling week against Benfica in the Europa League, Arsenal can now be optimistic after securing an important victory away to Leicester.

Despite resting a number of players following midweek football, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta relished his in tactical aptitude with the players performing to a high standard in the impressive victory.

The win will provide a renewed sense of urgency for Arsenal, as the prospect of qualifying for European football through the league table becomes a growing prospect. 

More players side-lined as concerns grow 

The despair of seeing further injuries to influential players was clear to see as Rodgers cut a forlorn figure after a highly disappointing week that has seen a premature exit from the Europa League at the hands of Slavia Prague

A plethora of regular players including: James Justin, James Maddison, Wesley Fofana and Ayoze Perez now begrudgingly grows larger with Barnes and Evans both withdrawn in the second half.

With a pivotal closing stage of the season imminently awaiting, the omens do not bode well for Leicester and it will take all of the resilience and determination brimming in this talented squad to qualify for the esteemed Champions League.

For Arsenal, the victory came at a cost however, with the surging rise of Emile Smith-Rowe being potentially hindered after suffering an injury in the first-half.

  • Key Takeaways

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Arsenal displaying their guile 

A few months ago, Arsenal were in an extremely dire situation after a terrible run of form before Christmas, but with a run in the Europa League and the potential for a sufficient finish in the league standings, devoted fans of the prestigious club will be hoping for a commendable finish. 

An unwanted recurring theme for Rodgers

For all of the plaudits bestowed upon Rodgers, who has galvanised his squad into challenging for major honours once again, there is caution amongst those at Leicester that a slip from the top-four might come about again, as it did last campaign. 

With an extensive injury list growing, it will take all of Rodgers wealth of experience and fantastic man management to steer the midlands club back into the Champions League. 

Willian's strengths coming into play

When Willian signed for the Gunners on a free transfer from London rivals Chelsea in the summer, it was viewed as a shrewd acquisition of a reliable performer.

Events have not played out as planned, with the Brazilian still yet to score for his new club, but recent outings have given glimpses of the abilities possessed by a Premier League ever-present. 

  • Next time out

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Both sides travel away to Burnley next in the Premier League, with Leicester playing on Wednesday before Arsenal take on the resolute  opposition on Saturday three days later.

A victory on Wednesday will be paramount for Leicester with slight concerns of a fall from grace now potentially coming into fruition.

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