Starting XI: Cech, Maitland-Niles, Holding, Mavropanos, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Ramsey, Iwobi, Mkhitaryan, Welbeck, Aubameyang
Subs: Ospina, Osei-Tutu, Mertesacker, Mustafi, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah
Arsene Wenger’s wait for an away league win in 2018 will go down to the last day of the season as Arsenal were beaten 3-1 by Leicester at the King Power.
The game turned inside 60 seconds as Kelechi Iheanacho put Claude Puel’s side ahead on 14 minutes and inside a minute forced Konstantinos Mavropanos into a challenge that earned the Greek youngster a straight red. Petr Cech kept the Gunners within touching distance before the break with a series of fine stops before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scrapped an equaliser on 53 minutes.
Often the case with the Gunners on the road, we couldn’t hold our lead as Jamie Vardy scored from the spot after Demarai Gray had been fouled by Henrikh Mkhitaryan. With two minutes remaining, Riyad Mahrez sealed the points for the Foxes with a typical weaving run and finish.
We were quick to assert our passing game on the home side with Mkhitaryan, Ramsey, Aubameyang and Iwobi playing pretty triangles in the final third. The latter, seemingly buoyed by his tidy strike on Sunday, had the first effort on target testing Jakupovic from 10 yards on 7 minutes.
As the travelling support chanted the names of Vieira, Henry and Cazorla we kept building pressure and working nice positions behind the Leicester full-backs. Kolasinac found space and fired a low pass across the six-yard box. Where was the support?
It felt like a goal was coming. And it did. Just not for the Gunners. We were playing away, remember.
Vardy, taking advantage of a sloppy pass by Welbeck, turned Holding left, then right before forcing a corner from Cech at his near post. We had about three chances to clear the ball before a cross to the back post was headed back by Diabate to Iheanacho who got over the ball and fired first time left-footed past Cech at the near post. Add it to our ever-growing portfolio of goals conceded courtesy of awful defending. (1-0)
Things got worse inside two minutes as Mavropanos became the 78th Arsenal player to receive a red card in the Premier League during Wenger’s tenure. Closed down by Iheanacho as he tried to play a pass out from the back, he panicked and pulled the Nigeria international down about 40-yards from goal. Referee Graham Scott didn’t hesitate in reaching for his pocket. Was the Greek really the last man? It looked harsh given Holding was racing across to cover.
Wenger called Mustafi from the bench and replaced Welbeck as we tried to regroup. While the German was putting on his shirt Fuchs went in hard on Maitland-Niles, leaving the England under-21 international holding his ankle.
As the home fans found their voice, Maguire and Iheanacho forced Cech into further saves and Diabate twice nearly found an unmarked Vardy with low crosses. Our game plan appeared to be, give the ball to the players in blue whenever possible and then let them run unchallenged at the box. Not ideal if you’re trying to win a football game. Wenger looked suitably effed off.
Out of nothing, two chances for the Gunners. Xhaka and Iwobi combined to feed Mkhitaryan. His shot on the swivel was brilliantly saved by Jakupovic. The keeper liked his work so much, he even celebrated with a double fist clench. He was lucky seconds later though. The corner dropped to Aubemeyang who crafted a toe-poked finish that was deflected just wide.
Back came Leicester. Maitland-Niles felled Vardy, up stepped Silva to test Cech with a low drive. The veteran keeper got down brilliantly again to deny Iheanacho. The former City attacker ended the half by shooting from just inside the Arsenal half. It sailed over.
There was no respite from the frantic end-to-end action. Within a minute of the re-start Kolasinac, found by Xhaka, smacked the bottom of Jakupovic’s near post with a left-foot shot. Vardy came close to springing the Gunners offside trap, but was rightly flagged, then Holding had to clear off the line as Diabate dinked an effort over Cech.
On 52 minutes, Arsenal worked a great equaliser. Xhaka spread the play to Maitland-Niles who drove goalwards and crossed to the
Gambian Gabonese striker. His first effort was saved but he was quick to retrieve the rebound and smashed into the roof of the net for his ninth Premier League goal of the season. (1-1)
The game turned scrappy. Vardy was offside again. Close. Mkhitaryan was blocked off by Simpson. Nothing given. Maitland-Niles fell awkwardly and needed treatment. Kolasinac took out Mahrez.
What followed was a 10 minute cameo that encapsulated the good, the bad and the ugly of Mkhitaryan. On 66 minutes he plucked a long ball out of the air and flashed over the bar on the angle. Close. Four minutes he had a great chance to return a pass to Ramsey after the Welshman had carried the ball 70-yards to the edge of the Leicester box. Instead, his over-hit pass rolled out of play. Then our January signing conceded a penalty. Tracking back to help out Maitland-Niles he hung out a lazy leg and toppled Gray. Referee Scott couldn’t wait to point to the spot and Vardy smashed into the top left-hand corner. (2-1)
Chasing another equaliser we continued our kamikaze tactics, pushing men forward and leaving the defence sorely exposed. Mahrez made us pay the prize. Collecting a pass in acres of space, he danced into the area, left Holding and then Cech on the turf and tucked into an empty net. (3-1)
There was a touching moment in stoppage time as the Arsenal fans chanted Wenger’s name with pride and the home support rose as one to give the Frenchman a standing ovation. A classy gesture, but the type you only make when you’re in a good mood and winning. Still, nice enough.
We already had the worst away record in this calendar year. We still do. The real question is whether we’ve seen Arsene Wenger’s last ever win as Arsenal manager or if we’ve got anything in the tank to take down Huddersfield on Sunday.
Well no pressure on our upcoming manager to perform, like moyes had, when he replaced another legend of the game.
This Leicester team has been shocking recently, Shane we couldn’t beat them for Wenger so we could get 1 away point to our name for 2018.
We’ve still got another chance to do that
True, Huddersfield safe now so hopefully they can’t be bothered
Sad that we need to hope for that in order to get a point at Huddersfield! This all stems from Wenger’s view that playing away is no different from playing at home. It just is Arsene. It just is.
No pressure – You have got to be kidding. The new guy will be under so much pressure. The pressure to be out of the title race by December, to avoid getting into UCL QFs at all cost, to buy Man U’s rejects, to teach the defenders mental toughness so they do not succumb to a sudden irresistible urge to suddenly start defending properly in games. These are no easy challenges and only a true managerial genius like Wenger could truly master it. It took him a while, but nearly a decade into his reign he got the hang of… Read more »
LOL, all the bitter, plastic spastics downvoting.
You all know it to be true, stop your pathetic squirming.
Lets not forget the pressure to habitually sell the best players to direct rivals.
Back to your normal *wenger hating* self I see. How about you give it a rest, there is only one game left and it is really getting quite boring now.
Well, what a crap referee. But what is it with our away form? Really poor, with few exceptions.
Thought the ref was poor and they were really lucky but again we’re just not good enough right now. You can see the potential but the final ball, the decision making and the defensive organisation are all lacking. Will be a challenge for the new manager but I fully believe we have a great set of players to work with. Also glad to see they really gave it a go today, even with a man down. Onwards and upwards. COYG!
Not good enough? But look at the record:
Home form: P 19, W 15, D 2, L 2 (2nd to Man City, P 19, 16-2-1)
Away form: P 18, W 3, D 4, L 11 (16th, almost relegation form)
We always used to be good away from home, but this is consistently poor. I don’t believe we’re not good enough. We’re just not good enough AWAY.
A new one to add to our blacklist
According to Wikipedia
Graham Scott (born 1968) is a crooked English-born referee who officiates in the Premier League, and a player for Leicester City.
Apart from Arsene’s swansong, Mavropanos was one of the reasons I was still looking forward excitedly to these last few games. But thanks to today’s shitty referee I will be denied that pleasure.
I think our performance was faultless in midfield and attack. In defense, we made too many individual errors. Sickening to see both Vardy and Mahrez score and the referee was a bit too awful.
The commentator said it was a great open game. For me it feels like when you’re about to get a handjob and your girlfriend accidentally rips your foreskin off.
Thankfully my foreskin is still attached
A faultless performance indicates no wrong decisions with final balls and efficient finishing as well as not letting a defender who lacks experience get caught alone in a situation that gets him rightly or wrongly sent off ! So your assessment im afraid is way off the mark ,better to say we TRIED hard!
after the emotion of Sunday, its back to reality with a manager who has really lost his way yet believes he and we are good enough. Players like Welbeck Ramsey iwobi who wouldn’t get in any top team. A club that is in decline. Reality sucks sometimes
Reality check required.
Still proud of the fight the boys gave. COYG
A perfect example of why the world cup will be better with no English refs there…..embarrassing!!
When English refs “ref” in champions league there seems to be some controversy, or an incident or two to talk about after. But we will see some funny referees from other continents in the WC, especially in the group stages
It is embarrassing! We keep hearing how the PL is the best league in the world, but it’s controlled by this, at worst crooked, and at best incompetent organisation. They’re all a bunch of disgraces to their federation.
And Leicester really are shit too.
Our defence needs some serious treatment from doctor Allegri
I seriously doubt Allegri would want to bother coming to us. Why should he? he is in the top team in Italy and in Champions League. We won’t be losening the purse strings being that we will have to cut our cloth to the europa. I don’t see Simeone either. Luis Enrique looks clueless and then you have the ex-Arsenal players which will be a massive gamble to say the least. I don’t trust the board to make the right decision in appointment. Those people want a manager they can control and put under the thumb. They can then conduct… Read more »
I seriously doubt there’s a single manager in the world who would decline the offer without at least thinking about it first. We’re still a huge club with great infrastructure, good brand & history and taking over such club is a great privilege. Also, I don’t necesarilly buy into the “power shift narrative” being described as a negative thing and how the board want themselves a manager-toy to play with. I actually think that the whole power shift thing was a natural move considering it is completely normal for modern clubs to have important tasks divided among several people rather… Read more »
I’m not up or down-voting you because I have some sympathy with what you say. I would have taken Buvac in all honesty because we clearly need someone who is tactically astute but also has something to prove in management. Like you say Allegri really has no need to come to us to prove himself, although if he could turn things round here that would set him up for his next big job.
Would like to see a strong side for Wenger’s last game as really would like to see him go out on a high and avoid this ridiculous record of being the only team in English football to not get a single point away from home this year. that said these are some of the lumps you will take when you play young defenders and credit to Wenger for giving experience to some of the younger players so that the next manager has some idea of how ready they are
Read it’s the top 5 leagues in Europe not just England. Plus 37, yes 37 points behind Man city! New boss will have to be a miracle worker at coaching & transfers, as the teams above us will strengthen & improve.
We have been left in a very poor state. A top manager will improve this side no doubt but a long way from being title contenders.
Totally disagree that we have been left in a poor state. We’ve finished 6th not 16th!
So which of the teams below is do you think should be finishing above us?
We are the worst of the ‘top tier’ by a significant margin.
And much closer to relegation than top. When the margins are so massive the finishing position is irrelevant.
We finished 6th while having the 4th largest budget? 6th is the lowest place we can actually finish and we did that after finishing out of the top 4 last year. 7th straight loses away from home, 37 points behind the champions, same inadequate tactics for years, defense records gets worse every year etc etc. If you’re happy with that, it’s ok…
At least we are consistent away from home
It’s much less annoying when the games don’t mean anything
Bar one or two exceptions, usual crap, sloppy mistakes gift it to the opposition. We need a good clear out this summer.
What the fuck was Mkhi doing? Honestly? I would’ve given my earthly soul for a 1-1 draw!
So the last week has just shown that, along with the very good things in the team and club, there are also some real deep seated problems.
Welcome Mavro…. That was how Kos started his book of record with us too…. These are the stuffs of legends.. You can ask the BFG
LOL. No doubt it’s Mustafi’s fault for the first goal. And he conceded the penalty and then got too easily beat for the third…wait was that Holding? First Holding (Dick Law signing) is the next Tony Adams. Next Mavropanos (Mslintat signing) is the new Tony Adams. Please. Save it for the asinine Arsenal Fan TV lot. As I mentioned before,All these silly voices waxing lyrical about Mavropanos just as they did with Holding…still a huge learning curve. Until they deliver on promise, we do ourselves no favours not reinforcing from market in lieu of an aging Koscielny. Meanwhile a throwaway… Read more »
I hope this goes with Arsene. Only that he’s a legend. Rambling Pete must be rolling in his
10/10 for the away fans today. I could only hear our chants on TV. The performance was there. The boys played good football. It was fluid and end to end but we really need to work on our defensive shape. It seems like we have only had Plan A for years. Attack Attack Attack. I want to continue watching this type of football under a new manager but, we need to be smart at times and become ‘boring boring Arsenal’ The new manager needs to take 70% of Wenger style and 30% George Graham/Simeone style. I think that’s a reasonable… Read more »
When we lost 8v2 against Man U, first time Fergie was nice to Wenger as he wasn’t a rival any more. Press had a field day ‘When Fergie feels sorry for you, you have bad problems. On the BBC after that debacle, George Graham said he’d spoken to Wenger at functions etc about defending and Wenger dismissed the idea etc. Knew then, Arsenal would only be a cup team not proper title challengers. Those who hope Wenger will win another title in a major league are delusional big time. Also the players we sold ie. Giroud, Sanchez even Coquelin gave… Read more »
Did Wenger tell Graham how to attack and entertain and get millions or a billion to love your team?
Classy Arsene wouldn’t rush to the press to tell of a kiss. That’s why he’s the greatest ever. It’s not like we were real fucking Madrid under Graham’s defend defend fuckin defend.
As much as I’d have time for him having a chat with Arsene about defending, I have zero respect for him running to the press about it.
False positivity. That was more shit. Brong on the change.
I think with 11 men it would have been different.
We have to accept that a 20 year old defender is going to make those sorts of mistakes. Similar to Carl Jenkinson’s red against United. It was rash and something he’ll learn from. You stand a better chance of coming back from 2 down with 11 men than you do from 1 down with 10.
Hopefully he’ll have got that out of his system now in a game that was essentially a dead rubber. We were not going any higher or lower in the league.
Remember Koscielny’s first season littered with reds, own goals and penalties conceded. Mustafi by contrast has had a better induction considering he had to hit the ground running. All this nonsense lauding yet another young half baked player, imagining him to be better than he his before he has returned on promise…like err…Holding. Same ridiculous bleatings from people who choose to highlight believed positives whilst ignoring mistakes and amplifying that of less favoured players. Mavropanos also missed a header against Burnly by Volkes right in front of our goal mouth. NO mention of that last game. Not saying the Greek… Read more »
Leave the kid alone…you are totally over-reacting in much the same way that people who over-hyped Mav, over-reacted.
He’s still a kid. He can only get better.
At least his cameo was brief.
Another game resulting in my eyes rolled all the way back accompanied by the world’s longest sigh.
Well..good thing is Huddersfield are safe now. So maybe they might be inclined to not turn up for the next game. Maybe. and
Shit ref, a bit unlucky, and some poor defending…Where have we seen this story before…Thought Iwobi, Mhki and Ramsey were all extremely awful at different points of the match but ultimately they all put in a shift as did the rest of the team and we cant claim they downed tools or lacked fight and desire.
Auba is a Gabonian, not a Gambian.
Gabonese, not Gabonian
And that’s why Wenger’s going.
Only one more game to go and Le Prof will have yet another record: pointless away in half a season.
Hilarious that the Chavs will be with us in the Thursday Night Club next season. Don’t worry about spuds: they won’t get past last 16 in the CL.
Well done Huddersfield! How come we can’t get draws at Man City and Chelsea? Oh I remember: financial doping!
Errr those teams have nothing to play for really. League positions are not going to change. So ya, just like we sometimes undermine an Arsenal end of season win, you should probably do the same in this case.
“Nice enough” – seems a bit harsh. I thought it was a thoroughly commendable gesture by the LCFCers.
Auba is Gabonese not Gambian. Has anyone seen Allegri lately?
Allegri is picking up the Coppa Italia after thrashing AC Milan
Playing any game requires confidence but playing away from home requires extra confidence. Have we ever played the same team twice this season, especially away from home? I fully expected the same team that started Sunday to play today. I honestly don’t understand why he would change it. I guess it’s a no-brainer really, but whoever takes over from Arsene needs to strive for consistency with team selection so that players get used to playing together.
We’re impressively bad away from home. I almost hope we lose the last game too just so we can have a clean record. It takes effort to be this bad.
Seems like one of those times when all you can do is laugh because the alternative is to cry.
Arsenal need to lose the last game so no one is under any illusions. The system needs a reboot.
He will probably win or draw the last away match. We can’t trust him to do what we want any more.
With the righ manager next season I think we’ll sort out both our defensive mistakes and our bad away record. Those are of course interlinked. We got players with quality to defend well, but they do not train to defend and then defending will be up to the individual and not the team. This team has 3 main errors which should be easily amended. 1. After recovering the ball in own box we play high risk short passes in front of own goal on our way forward. High risk for loosing the ball in dangerous positions. Solution: our wide players… Read more »