Jamie Vardy came off the bench to score a customary goal against Arsenal and send Leicester to within a point of the Premier League summit with a first win at the Gunners’ home since 1973.Vardy, 33, had missed two games with a calf injury but was reintroduced after a largely sterile opening hour at Emirates Stadium and promptly ended a 262-minute Leicester goal drought in the league. The former England international headed home fellow substitute Cengiz Under’s smart pass to bring up a remarkable 11th Premier League goal against Arsenal in 12 appearances. Only Wayne Rooney, with 12, has more goals.
Until Vardy’s arrival Leicester had barely threatened but they have now won their opening three away league games for the first time. Arsenal were disappointing and, despite dominating possession and having 12 shots on goal, never looked like seriously testing Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel as they slipped to a first home league defeat of 2020. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta criticised the decision to disallow an Alexandre Lacazette header for offside early in the first half. Arsenal thought they had scored in the opening minutes when Lacazette headed in from a corner, but Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were both offside.
From that point Arsenal controlled the game for the most part, but, despite Kieran Tierney raiding with intent down the left, they struggled to bust open the organised visitors. Arsenal had 11 shots in the first half but Schmeichel’s only save of note came from the one effort after the break, pushing out a decent volley from Hector Bellerin. Aubameyang, who has now gone five Premier League games without a goal for the first time, was largely anonymous. Thomas Partey made a much-vaunted full league debut in midfield but was not alone in failing to shine as Arsenal moved the ball painfully slowly at times. They have scored only eight goals in six league games this season. They have managed fewer at this stage in one of the previous 20 campaigns, when they scored five goals in 2015-16.