Feature

#LEIARS: Three things we noticed

Bernd Leno

LENOMENAL

Bernd Leno made nine saves against Leicester - an average of one every 10 minutes - and without him in supreme form our defeat would have been more comprehensive.

The pick of the bunch was probably Leno’s clawing stop to keep out a powerful first-half header from Ndidi, but Vardy and Maddison might disagree after watching fine efforts of their own repelled by the German.

Leno made three saves in the space of 20 seconds in the second half, and although Vardy’s late goals gave the scoreline a more lopsided look, that shouldn’t detract from our goalkeeper’s fine display.

01:36

Best of Bernd: Leno at Leicester


UNLUCKY AINSLEY?

Maitland-Niles made two tackles in this game and was booked for them both. The first - a barge as Leicester launched a counter-attack - was deemed “not a yellow card” by Unai Emery.

“I didn’t agree with that decision,” said our head coach. It did look harsh, and you felt for Maitland-Niles after the second one too. He slipped while trying to get close to Maddison and, in his haste to make up the ground, made a challenge that would have been far better judged had he not lost his footing.

We regrouped at half-time, Koscielny coming on for Iwobi and Mustafi sliding across to right back, but the loss of Maitland-Niles was too big to overcome.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles

PLAYING ON THE BREAK

Unai Emery sprang a minor surprise by opting for a 4-4-2 formation against Leicester, with Iwobi and Mkhitaryan offering the width. It made us relatively compact in the first half as we looked to contain Leicester before hitting them on the counter-attack.

Those tactics partly explained the home side’s vastly superior possession stats - even before the red card - but we did threaten sporadically on the break, Lacazette and Iwobi going close on the end of flowing moves.

Maitland-Niles’ dismissal threw those plans into disarray - with 10 men we were left clutching at straws, our goal threat reduced to Xhaka’s delivery from set-pieces.

Alex Iwobi

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