Leicester City 3-1 Arsenal

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Interview

Wenger - I’m grateful to the Leicester fans

“One Arsene Wenger, there’s only one Arsene Wenger.”

The boss is used to hearing that from our fans but he was treated to a rendition of the song by Leicester fans on Wednesday night.

The home supporters rose to acclaim our manager and he acknowledged them with a wave as our away fans joined in.

“I am upset with myself that I cannot really enjoy it because I want so much to win always that I cannot even enjoy that in the right way!” Wenger told Arsenal.com.

“But I am grateful and would like to thank them very much.

“I will miss the special atmosphere at English grounds, I will miss less some of the decisions during the games, but the atmosphere and the quality of English football is absolutely something I will miss forever.”

Video

Should Dinos have been sent off at Leicester?

We played the majority of Wednesday's Premier League match at Leicester City with 10 men and, although we looked set for an unlikely point midway through the second half, we were ultimately beaten 3-1.

There was no shortage of drama at King Power Stadium - Dinos Mavropanos was sent off early on, while Leicester were also awarded a spot-kick which Arsène Wenger described as "not a penalty". You can watch both of those moments, plus Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's goal and bitesize highlights below, with extended highlights available at the top of this page. 

 

Interview

We were creative but the penalty killed the game’

Petr Cech saves from Fousseni Diabate at Leicester

Petr Cech has faced the media after plenty of our away defeats this year and he had another one to digest on Wednesday night.

The goalkeeper was in inspired form to keep Leicester at bay in the first half and then watched his team-mates launched a second-half rally before Leicester won the game late on.

Here’s what Petr said after the game:

on conceding and going down to 10 men early on…

Yeah, we obviously gave them an advantage to play quite a long time against 10 men but I felt that we dug really deep and we obviously needed to defend at times and be compact and wait for our opportunities to counter-attack. I thought that we had two or three very good opportunities. In the second half we scored a goal and we were right back in the game but unfortunately the second goal, the penalty, gave them back the lead and then they waited for a counter-attack and confirmed their win.

on really pushing for the win…

Well, we had nothing to wait for because we were down to 10 men. We had to make sure that we played and couldn’t just wait and give them the ball and wait for their chances. They had chances from counter-attacking in the first half, but as I said, when you go down to 10 men you have two options. You can defend your box and wait for one chance, but obviously with our quality of football we believe that if you have more of the ball, even down to 10 men, then we will create more to score the goal. In the end we did so, but the second goal killed the game.

 

Post-Match Report

Leicester City 3-1 Arsenal: How it happened

Pierre-Emerick AUbameyang scores at Leicester City

WHAT HAPPENED

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored yet again but Arsene Wenger’s penultimate game in charge ended in defeat.

Kelechi Iheanacho gave Leicester the lead against the run of play after we failed to clear a corner. Christian Fuchs curled in another cross, Fousseni Diabate headed down and Iheanacho had enough space for a crisp finish.

Our woes were compounded moments later when Dinos Mavropanos was sent off.

The Greek defender got caught on the ball by Iheanacho and hauled the Leicester striker down as he prepared to race through on goal. Rob Holding was the covering defender but referee Graham Scott clearly thought Mavropanos was the last man.

Petr Cech kept us in it with a string of fine saves but, after weathering that storm, our response was gutsy and classy.

Sead Kolasinac hit the post and then Aubameyang hauled the 10 men level, crashing a rebound into the roof of the net after Eldin Jakupovic had saved his first effort from Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ cross.

It was end-to-end stuff and we looked capable of nicking an improbable three points.

But Leicester had the last word when Mkhitaryan tripped Demarai Grey and Jamie Vardy found the top corner from the penalty spot.

And Riyad Mahrez made the game safe in the last minute.

HOW IT HAPPENED

See how the boss’ penultimate game unfolded and get the standout stats with our play-by-play commentary

WHAT IT MEANS

We will definitely finish in sixth place in the Premier League - irrespective of this defeat.

The Premier League table after our defeat at Leicester City

The Premier League table after our defeat at Leicester City


WHAT’S NEXT

We’ve got one Premier League game left - and so has Arsene Wenger.

The boss ends his incredible 22-year journey with our club at Huddersfield Town on Sunday.

CECH IN FORM

 

Petr Cech was at his shot-stopping best to keep Leicester at bay after we went down to 10 men. These were his standout moments:

8 mins - Leicester come forward after spending the early stages on the back foot, and Vardy tests Cech

16 - Maguire meets a ball into the box with a cushioned volley but Cech tips over brilliantly

19 - Cech save from Ihenacho as the goalscorer looks to add a second

38 - Silva curls a low free-kick beyond our wall but Cech plunges to his left to make the save

40 - Cech denies Iheanacho once again, diving low to his left to make a fine stop after Vardy set up the chance

Press conference

The boss on Mavropanos, Wilshere and Lacazette

Was it a penalty? Was it a red card? Why didn’t Alex Lacazette play? And where was Jack Wilshere?

Arsene Wenger fielded all of those questions and more when he sat down for his penultimate post-match press conference as our manager.

Here’s the full transcript:

on frustration after the game…

It’s a frustration, yes, because I believe we played a great game and with 10 against 11, we have shown quality in our game, spirit, and overall it’s very sad because the decision went against us and we are upset because we lost a game we should not have lost. That’s a fact we have to face. It has not big consequences but it’s just in a continuity in what we have faced all season.

on disagreeing with the red card…

I disagree with the red card because Holding would have caught this ball. He [Mavropanos] was not the last man.

on the penalty…

The penalty is a very creative, imaginative aspect from the referee. We watched it again. It’s a nice dive but it’s not a penalty.

on if Mkhitaryan caught the player…

No, he plays the ball.

on if he’s worried about handing over this team…

No, I feel that if you look at our season, at home we have had championship-winning form. Away from home we have had the consequence of many things: a lack of confidence because of a few bad results, and after that we neglected some games because we were in the Europa League. The quality is there, the spirit is exceptional. I think if the team has one or two good away results next year, they will play for the Premier League - I’m convinced because there’s something special in that team, which will come out next season. I’m convinced that Arsenal will be one of the top contenders next year.

on if Leicester surprised him…

They played with 11 against 10 for 75 minutes and we had to make the game. They played well but I must say, I don’t know if you have played football, but when you have to attack with 10 against 11, it’s normal that when you lose the ball, your opponent has space and opportunities to go on the counter-attack.

on Mavropanos and a learning curve…

Of course. This boy has 20 top-level games in his legs. I believe when games are very close, it takes so much mental energy at the start of your career that it takes sometimes a bit longer to recover. Tonight he was a bit surprised by the pace of the game at the start, because he had not completely recovered. I had a long thought about playing him straight away again or not. Sometimes you think ‘OK, it’s going well for him, keep him in’. But I don’t think he had recovered.

on why Lacazette didn’t play…

Rest. He played at Madrid, he played on Sunday. I rotated the strikers a little bit.

on the Leicester fans singing ‘one Arsène Wenger’…

I’m grateful for the reaction of the crowd. Overall, I’m frustrated because we lost the game. I think Leicester is a fantastic football club. I managed here when Guppy, Izzet and all these guys played here. They always played in the Premier League, they always had good teams. They always do good work, so it was a nice reception from the fans as well.

on Jack Wilshere and his future…

First of all he was with us [tonight]. He had to go back because his wife was induced. For the rest, I give him only always one advice: stay at the club. The noises I have is that he will do it, but I don’t know how close he is to signing the contract or not. But the noises are positive. I hope that will be concluded very quickly and that he can go to the World Cup with England, and win the World Cup.

Interview

Wenger’s tips for first-team success next season

Whether or not Arsene Wenger sits on the North Bank next season remains to be seen, but the Arsenal fan in him has high hopes for some of our younger players.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles caught the eye at Leicester on Wednesday - setting up a goal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - while Eddie Nketiah came off the bench to get more valuable first-team experience.

All of our players will have to prove themselves to whoever succeeds Wenger, but there are certain names Wenger expects to see on the teamsheet.

“I would say Maitland-Niles, certainly, from the young players, and Nketiah, certainly, and then it depends who will come in - you have Willock and of course Reiss Nelson,” he told Arsenal.com.

“Will they get a chance or not or will they go somewhere on loan? The next manager will have to decide that after pre-season. Nketiah has that quality to score goals and overall I think he might get a chance very early. The two others have the quality as well.

“We all are great admirers of Ainsley’s talent and of his quality. What you want from him is for him to push himself. When he digs a little bit more than he naturally would like to, you will see a fantastic football player and I hope that next season will confirm that.

“I am convinced there is something special in this team that will come out next season. There’s one or two things to change but this team has special quality - mentally and on the football front. I will really support them next season because I think they can surprise everybody.”

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