Late in the first half, Hector Bellerin floated a beautiful pass over the Leicester defence, creating a glorious chance for Alexandre Lacazette to put the Gunners 2-0 up.
Instead, the striker headed tamely at the keeper, and it was another opportunity that went begging for Mikel Arteta’s side who, after a slow start, dominated the first 45 minutes.
Arsenal played some lovely football, but lacked the efficiency in front of goal to capitalise – something which came back to haunt us late on after Eddie Nketiah’s red card and Jamie Vardy’s equaliser in the 1-1 draw at the Emirates.
It was a display which Arteta was pleased about, but afterwards made it very clear he expects his players to be more ruthless when we play like this, insisting they have to ‘kill’ the opponents when we have the chance to do so.
“I think for long periods of the game we deserved the three points,” he said, “but against this opposition when you have them there you have to kill them.
“We should have scored three or four goals and then the game is over and we haven’t done that, and after as well you let the team down with 10 men and obviously to win three points by doing these two things becomes really complicated.
“But overall I’m extremely proud and happy with what I’ve seen from the players, the way we played, the way we dominated this type of opponent, and it’s not easy to do after the amount of games we’ve played in the last few days.”
The fact that his team had to play with ten men for the fourth time in his relatively short tenure as manager is another area Arteta wants to see improvement in, but insisted that if Nketiah’s challenge was worthy of a red card, so too was the incident in which Jamie Vardy’s studs caught Shkodran Mustafi in the face.
“The incident with Eddie, we can discuss the intention or whatever it is, but the referee has made a decision and we have to learn from that as well,” said Arteta.
“Since I’ve joined I think it’s the fourth time that we’ve played with 10 men and it’s something that we have to improve because we give the opponent a big advantage.
“What I’m saying is that if we review incidents of that type, it will be the norm. It has to be something equal for everyone because it changes the game completely and if Eddie’s is a red card, then for sure the other one is a red card.”
Was it deliberate from Vardy? Check out the replay here. It’s impossible to prove one way or the other conclusively, but our feeling is that while we can’t be positive it’s 100% on purpose, we’re 100% sure it’s not 100% accidental.
If that makes sense.
Anyway, it’s water under the bridge now, we’ll wait and see if we appeal the Nketiah red, and then start preparing for the derby on Sunday.