Leicester opened up a nine-point lead over Arsenal in the battle for Champions League qualification and moved second in the Premier League with a 2-0 win over the Gunners on Saturday. Jamie Vardy and James Maddison were the architects of another fine victory for the Foxes as the English duo struck in the space of seven second-half minutes. Arsenal are now eight points adrift of the top four and will fall even further behind should Manchester City avoid defeat away to league leaders Liverpool on Sunday.
In the face of mounting speculation over his future, Emery surprisingly maintained Mesut Ozil alongside the front two of new captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette. That bold strategy nearly paid off when Lacazette fired the first big chance of the match inches wide after Aubameyang had burrowed his way into the area.
Thereafter, it was Leicester who had all the better chances to break the deadlock. Vardy failed to connect with Ayoze Perez’s dangerous cross before Maddison curled a free-kick inches wide. Wilfred Ndidi was next to miss a glorious chance when he smashed off the crossbar with the goal gaping from Ricardo Pereira’s cutback four minutes into the second half.
Arsenal were the first to put the ball in the net when Aubameyang supplied a characteristically clinical finish but was rightly flagged offside.
Vardy has an excellent record against Arsenal and when his chance came, the Premier League’s top scorer was ruthless with a low finish past Bernd Leno from Youri Tielemans’s pass.
The former England striker then turned provider as he laid the ball back into the path of Maddison to drill a low shot in from outside the box. Arsenal offered precious little after going behind and have now won just two of their last 10 league games.