Ten-man Arsenal slide to another away defeat at Leicester
Wenger says Premier League needs video help for refs
10 May, 2018 — By Steve Barnett
FA Premier League
LEICESTER CITY 3 (Iheanacho 14, Vardy 76 Pen, Mahrez 90)
ARSENAL 1 (Aubameyang 53)
ARSENE Wenger says he feels “destroyed” by the Premier League’s decision to vote against using video assistant referee (VAR) to improve the game.
The Frenchman questioned the big calls that went against his side after losing his penultimate game in charge of Arsenal tonight (Wednesday) away at Leicester City.
Poor defending played it’s part as the Gunners were beaten 3-1 at the King Power Stadium. Their cause wasn’t helped by the fact that they had to play almost the entire match with 10-men after Konstantinos Mavropanos was sent off for a professional foul after only 15 minutes.
That decision, along with referee Graham Scott’s call to award the Foxes a second half penalty, left Wenger feeling “upset” by the decision that English clubs have made to fall “behind” the rest of the footballing world.
“Overall I believe we played a great game. Even with 10 against 11 we should win the game,” he said. “I’m convinced what changed the game was the penalty. I have complaints about the red card as well but I think we dealt well with the situation. I would like to praise the team for the spirit they showed.
“The Premier League has voted against VAR and it is upsetting. It destroys me because we were in front of the rest of the world, and now we want to be behind.”
Kelechi Iheanacho rifled home the opener from close range after just 14 minutes as the Gunners’ rearguard failed to clear their lines.
It got worse for the visitors just 90 seconds later when 20-year-old defender Mavropanos was shown a straight red for hauling down Iheanacho as he broke through on goal.
Arsenal levelled through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang early in the second half. Ainsley Maitland-Niles skipped around the Leicester defence before picking out Aubameyang, who smashed the ball into the roof of the net at the second attempt after his first effort was well saved.
Leicester restored their lead in the 76th minute when Jamie Vardy scored from the spot after Henrikh Mkhitaryan was adjudged to have brought down Demarai Gray in the box.
The Foxes wrapped up the win in the final seconds when Riyad Mahrez broke away and scored one of his trademark goals, whipping the ball into the back of the net.
The result means that Arsenal remain the only side without an away point in English league football in 2018.
With one game to go, away at Huddersfield this Sunday, Wenger was quizzed if it has sunk in that he will be leaving Arsenal this summer after 22 years.
“Yes, slowly, the last three or four weeks have been step-by-step so you have time to adjust,” he said. “I realise it now. It was very nice to hear applause from both sets of fans and I’m very grateful for that.”
LEICESTER CITY: Jakupovic, Simpson (Dragovic, 82), Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Diabate (Gray, 72), Silva, Choudhury, Mahrez, Iheanacho (Barnes, 88), Vardy
Subs not used: Hamer, Iborra, Benalouane, Thomas
ARSENAL: Cech, Maitland-Niles, Mavropanos (sent off, 15), Holding, Kolasinac, Ramsey, Iwobi (Nketiah, 82), Xhaka, Mkhitaryan, Welbeck (Mustafi, 19), Aubameyang
Subs not used: Mertesacker, Ospina, Nelson, Osei-Tutu, Willock