Leicester City and Arsenal shared the points on Saturday, with neither side hitting the form they showed last season. They are both settling into the new season and trying to find their strongest XI, so such an outcome was not completely unexpected. The Champions brought Marc Albrighton and Shinji Okazaki back into the side, while the return of Laurent Koscielny was a huge boost for Arsenal. It was predicted that goals were in the offing in this fixture, but that wasn’t to be the case, with the match finishing 0-0.
Here are three players who impressed at the KP Stadium:
The French international was superb in his first appearance of the season. His reading of the game stood out, as he was always in the right place at the right time to prevent danger. This is shown by his three interceptions and seven clearances in the match. Arsenal looked nervous at the back last weekend, but the return of Koscielny had a calming influence on the rest of the defence, showing how important he is to the side.
The best piece of defending was done by Koscielny as he recovered well to put Jamie Vardy under pressure, forcing the striker to blaze his shot wide. He used his pace and experience to prevent a certain goal, helping Arsenal to a point.
Defenders dominated the match on Saturday and Wes Morgan was as good as Laurent Koscielny, as he played a huge part in Leicester’s first clean sheet of the season. During the match, he made five interceptions and two blocks to shut down Arsenal attacks. It was a superb display of defending and one we have become accustomed to from the Leicester captain.
The Foxes’ defence returned to its best on Saturday and looked as good as it did towards the end of last season. The return of Robert Huth helped, but it was the performance of Wes Morgan that shone through on Saturday.
After a disappointing performance during the opening weekend, Christian Fuchs was excellent against Arsenal. He made three tackles and won three aerial duels in what was a fine defensive display. Fuchs had to deal with Theo Walcott and Hector Bellerin, which he did effectively.
The Austrian international was also good on the ball and played a part in several Leicester attacks. In the second half, he showed his crossing ability, as he put in a dangerous ball into the box, but nobody could get on the end of it.
And here are three who disappointed:
The winger started the season well against Liverpool with a goal, but he was poor against Leicester. His movement in the final third was off and he rarely got in behind the Leicester back four. His pace is his best asset, but he couldn’t use it effectively on Saturday and was caught offside twice. Walcott was outshone by his team-mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was a constant threat in the attacking half.
Arsenal’s number 14 produced some disappointing passes, as he had a success rate of 77.4% and he needs to improve that if he wants to keep his place in the side. During the second half, he had a golden chance to open the scoring, but he could only produce a tame effort straight at the goalkeeper and that summed up his evening.
Marc Albrighton came back into the starting XI on Saturday, however he failed to show the attacking threat that Demerai Gray displayed last weekend. The winger was tidy in possession, without looking dangerous and that is what Leicester need this season. They cannot afford to rely on Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy as much as they did last season, which makes the left wing role an important one.
His pass success stood at a lowly 64.5, as he often gave the ball away, leading to the breakdown of Leicester attacks. As always he worked had defensively, but Leicester need more than just work rate down the left this season.
Although it wasn’t entirely his fault, Alexis Sanchez was far from his best on Saturday. Arsene Wenger’s failure to bring in a striker has forced him to field Sanchez there, which has hamstrung the Chilean. He isn’t effective there, as he gets less of the ball and does not get the opportunity to dribble as much as he does on the left wing.
Olivier Giroud is crucial to how Arsenal play, as he can hold up the ball and bring the midfielders into the game. However, Sanchez couldn’t do this and was dominated by the Leicester centre backs all match. The Chilean’s lack of aerial ability also prevents him from playing the lone striker role well. He needs to be shifted back to the left, which is where he is most comfortable.
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