Premier League champions Leicester City and last season’s runners-up Arsenal are still waiting for their first win of the new campaign after a goalless stalemate at the King Power Stadium. Both teams were aiming to bounce back from opening-weekend losses, to Hull City and Liverpool respectively, but could not find a breakthrough in a fiercely-contested game. Referee Mark Clattenburg was the villain for Leicester fans after denying strong penalty claims in each half, first when Laurent Koscielny tangled with Danny Drinkwater then late on when Hector Bellerin appeared to upend Ahmed Musa. Leicester striker Jamie Vardy failed to punish the club he turned down this summer when he shot wide from close range as Claudio Ranieri’s side started to exert a measure of control after the break.
Arsenal keeper Petr Cech saved crucially from Riyad Mahrez in the dying seconds while Arsenal had opportunities of their own as they enjoyed the better of the first half, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain shooting narrowly wide. Arsenal fans were not celebrating a hard-earned point at the final whistle – they were busy venting their fury at manager Arsenal Wenger’s lack of activity in the transfer market. Wenger was urged, loudly and in very industrial terms, to start spending some money as Arsenal fought through a spell of late Leicester pressure. It left Arsenal without a win from their first two games and means they are already five points behind Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea – and indeed Hull City. And there can be no doubt Arsenal’s fans have a valid point when they question why Wenger has not beefed up his squad more, certainly with more than the £35m acquisition of midfielder Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach.
Wenger is hoping to complete a £25m deal for Valencia’s German central defender Shkodran Mustafi but there is also a need for further class in attack to augment, and perhaps replace, Olivier Giroud. This is a defining season for Wenger so it could be said he faces a defining few days in the transfer market. Arsenal’s fans certainly know it. Wenger must surely know it too as he listened to those angry voices in the travelling support tucked away in a corner of the King Power Stadium. Koscielny’s return brought authority to Arsenal’s defence and also helped guide Holding through a spell of heavy Leicester pressure, particularly distinguishing himself with a lunge that forced Vardy to shoot high and wide. He is a fixture in Arsenal’s central defence – now Wenger must provide him with quality support.