Leicester bite their lips in frustration

Arsenal 1 v Leicester City 0

Report by Colin Murrant

Make no doubt about it, this was a War of Attrition, with City fending off lots of Arsenal pressure in and around their box. It was one of those nights when you kept looking at the clock and counting down, we get to half time, then 60 minutes, 70 minutes, eighty minutes, eighty-five, then disaster. An innocuous looking shot from Nacho Monreal in the 86th minute, hit Robert Huth on the chest and nestled in the corner of the net. Cruel beyond words as City had defended stoutly and seemed to have weathered the worst of the storm.

All of the City back four were handed yellow cards on the evening, but that should not disguise the fact that the unit was well organised and could, on another night have got a deserved point. Everybody has those referees that make them cringe when they are officiating: mine (one of mine) is Mike Jones. This goes back to New Year’s Day at Anfield two seasons ago when he contrived to award Liverpool two penalties for hand ball. By the end, Jones was going to be a central figure again in one of the most bizarre incidents I have ever witnessed, more of that later.

The match kicked off to a two thirds full stadium, no atmosphere at all from the home support; the official attendance of c60,000 which is difficult to believe – those executive boxes must have been full! With the City fans chanting “Arsene Wenger, we want you to stay” it brought some humour to the evening. City made two changes with Huth replacing Morgan and, more surprisingly Ulloa in for Okazaki: Ulloa in fact played in the hole between midfield and Vardy.

The match started cautiously although the first real chance fell to Vardy in the 7th minute when he hit the ball just wide before a Fuch’s long throw dropped to Mahrez who forced a great save from Cech. There then followed a couple of chances for Arsenal with Schmeichel saving from Walcott before being beaten from 20 yards by Sanchez with the ball coming off the bar.

Much of the play however was backwards and forwards across the pitch as Arsenal tried to find holes in the city’s two banks of four. The statistics show that Arsenal had 5 shots on target to Leicester’s 3 although they had 70% of the possession and 12 corners to one; that demonstrates the way Leicester were organised and yet still created almost as many shots on target on the break.

Back to the referee, he had already booked Fuchs before Benalouane clattered into the back of Giroud with studs showing, with Ramsey et al brandishing imaginary cards, the City defender was perhaps lucky to get just a yellow. Now in a previous article I have suggested Yohan is at the cross-roads of his City career; I think he has a lot of talent but he is always a red card waiting to happen and that may be his eventual downfall: I have read that his style of defending has held back his City appearances.

Then the incident that made the papers, radio and Twitter. City had a throw on the right with time running out. Fuchs switched sides to take the long throw but Sanchez stood in front of him. He was warned to step back the mandatory 2 metres but failed to do so twice. On the third occasion Fuchs threw the ball at a ‘low trajectory’ and the ball hit Sanchez on the shoulder. After a delay of a few sections, Sanchez collapsed ‘Platoon’ style which resulted in a melee around him as both goalkeepers joined the scene. Sanchez was eventually awarded a yellow card and my heart was in my mouth as I thought Fuchs might follow and get his second yellow. Sanchez then continued his complaints and berated the linesman, there was a thought he should have got a second yellow. Wenger afterwards commented that he did not see the event but it was the referee’s fault as he did not explain the 2-metre rule to Sanchez. Sanchez meanwhile took to social media to show a cut lip. I make no comment on either.

Although not the most authoritative referee, I think Jones could have easily lost control of the game and for that I give him credit.

The match finished with a City flourish with the possibility of a hand ball as Okazaki directed the ball towards goal and Koscielny appeared to handle. As City trouped off they again could reflect for the third time in three seasons that a valiant effort had ended in a one goal deficit disappointment; so bite that lip as one day soon the Arsenal nightmare will be over.

As a footnote, there were no reports of Arsenal lap-of-honour, no team selfies in the dressing room – just the one selfie from Sanchez.

Arsenal: Petr Cech; Gabriel, Laurent Koscielney, Nacho Montreal; Hector Bellerin, Granit Xhaka, Francis Coquelin, Kieran Gibbs; Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez; Theo Walcott. Subs: Aaron Ramsey (for Coquelin, 75min), Olivier Giroud (for Walcott, 75min), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alex Iwobi, Danny Welbeck (for Gibbs, 68min), Emiliano Martinez, Mohamed Elneny

Leicester City: Kasper Schmeichel; Danny Simpson, Robert Huth, Yohan Benalouane, Christian Fuchs; Riyad Mahrez, Danny Drinkwater, Wilfred Ndidi, Marc Albrighton; Leonardo Ulloa, Jamie Vardy. Subs: Ben Chilwell, Ahmed Musa, Andy King, Daniel Amartey, Shinji Okazki (for Ulloa, 70min), Ron-Robert Zieler, Demarai Gray (for Benalouane, 90min)

Referee: Mike Jones               Attendance: 59,829 (Really?)

The views expressed in this report are the opinions of the Trust member nominated to file the report only and do not represent the views of the Foxes Trust organisation

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Next Up – West Brom

Up Next – West Brom

Manager      Tony Pulis 

Founded       1878             Ground         The Hawthorns

Address       Birmingham Road, West Bromwich, B71 4LF

Capacity        26,850       

Squad:

1              England                                GK          Ben Foster

2              Cameroon                           DF           Allan Nyom

3              Sweden                               DF           Jonas Olsson

4              Wales                                    FW         Hal Robson-Kanu

5              Argentina                            MF         Claudio Yacob

6              Northern Ireland                DF           Jonny Evans

7              Scotland                               MF         James Morrison

8              England                                MF         Jake Livermore

9              Venezuela                          FW         Salomón Rondón

10           Scotland                               MF         Matt Phillips

11           Northern Ireland               DF           Chris Brunt

13           Wales                                    GK          Boaz Myhill

14           Republic of Ireland            MF         James McClean

20           England                                DF           Brendan Galloway (on loan from Everton)

22           Belgium                                MF         Nacer Chadli

23           Northern Ireland                DF           Gareth McAuley

24           Scotland                               MF         Darren Fletcher (captain)

25           England                                DF           Craig Dawson

38           England                                GK          Jack Rose

45           England                                FW         Jonathan Leko

47           England                                MF         Sam Field

49           England                                MF         Jonathan Leko

We have tried our best to ensure factual accuracy at the date of going to press – apologies in advance for any errors or out of date information.

For the very latest updates please follow the link below to the club web site: www.wba.co.uk

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Going to West Brom ?

West Bromwich Albion  B71 4LF

Directions

The ground is located on the A41 (Birmingham-West Bromwich Road).

If approaching from outside the area the ground is about half a mile from Junction 1 of the M5. On leaving the M5 take the A41 towards Birmingham, the ground is on your right. Beware though of speed cameras on this stretch of the A41.

Street parking or alternatively there are a few private matchday car parks at some local industrial units near the ground, or at Hawthorns station which costs £4. Most of these can be reached by going down Halfords Lane beside the ground.

Approx 52 miles, 1 hour

Pubs

The main pub for away fans is 'The Vine' which is about a 15-20 minute walk from the ground. From Junction 1 of the M5 turn left towards West Bromwich town centre (opposite direction to the ground). Take the first left into Roebuck Street. The Vine is down on the left. You can also street park in this area and then walk to the ground. This pub also offers Indian food and has an indoor tandoori barbeque (from 1pm on Saturdays), plus has a beer garden with children's play area.  

The Vine is only a few minutes walk away from Kenrick Park Metro station which can be accessed from Birmingham Snow Hill railway/metro station. Turn right out of the station and walk along Devereux Road passing through a residential area. At the end of Devereux Road turn left and the The Vine is just over the other side of the road on the right.

The Park Hotel which is just off junction one of the M5 and a 10 minute walk to the ground. You can park on their car park for £5 and away fans are always welcome. There are plenty of families who meet in here before games and it is a very safe environment. There is also plenty of street parking in and around the area of the hotel if you don't want to pay the £5. 

By Train

The closest railway station is The Hawthorns which is about five minutes walk from the ground. The Hawthorns is served by a Metro service from Birmingham Snow Hill station. The Metro service takes eight minutes to the Hawthorns from Birmingham Snow Hill and trains run every 15 minutes.

Train takes approx 1 hour to Birmingham Snow Hill, off peak day return £14-00

All information is provided in good faith but the Foxes Trust cannot be held responsible for any errors. Thanks to the Football Ground Guide

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View from the Opposition – Arsenal

A bit about you:

Name: Dan Eagles

Current home town: Leicester

How long have you supported your team? 27 years

Overview of your club:

Favourite thing about your home ground: So many things, the pitch is top class but let's go for the clock from highbury. Happy memories!

Favourite match played by your team & why: Arsenal going to Anfield 89 needing to win by two goals on the last game of the season. Michael Thomas bursting through to score the winner and bring the title back to London

Favourite player of all time who played for your club: Dennis Bergkamp. No need to say anymore. He liked Filbert street!

About our forthcoming match against you:

Your favourite current player in your squad and why? Santi Cazorla. He is what we so often have missed this year, someone to unlock the defence with a quick direct pass

Player in your squad we should most fear and why? Alexis Sanchez because he always plays as if it’s his last game

Player in our squad you most fear and why? Jamie Vardy and his pace. We are still vulnerable with the ball over the back

Up and coming prospect in your squad? Jeff Reine-Adelaide

How do you think you’ll do against us? 3 v 1

General Questions:

Where do you think you'll finish this season? 4th!

What did you think to your transfer activity this season? Mixed. I like Mustafi although he thinks the worlds against him. Not seen much of Perez but he looks a quality goal scorer. We still need another consistent, quality centre back to partner Koscielny.

Which three teams do you think will be relegated? Sunderland, Middlesbrough & Hull. I fancy Swansea to survive with Llorente scoring a few.

Who do you think will win the league? Chelsea.

Next Up Arsenal

Next Up Arsenal - 26 April 2017 7.45PM

Manager        Arsène Wenger       Founded       1886

Ground          Emirates Stadium   Address   Hornsey Road, London N5 1BU

Capacity        60,338

Squad: 

2              France                  DF           Mathieu Debuchy

3              England                DF           Kieran Gibbs

4              Germany             DF           Per Mertesacker (captain)

5              Brazil                     DF           Gabriel

6              France                  DF           Laurent Koscielny

7              Chile                      FW         Alexis Sánchez

8              Wales                    MF         Aaron Ramsey

9              Spain                     FW         Lucas Pérez

11           Germany             MF         Mesut Özil

12           France                  FW         Olivier Giroud

13           Colombia             GK          David Ospina

14           England                FW         Theo Walcott

15           England                MF         Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

16           England                DF           Rob Holding

17           Nigeria                  FW         Alex Iwobi

18           Spain                     DF           Nacho Monreal

19           Spain                     MF         Santi Cazorla

20           Germany             DF           Shkodran Mustafi

22           France                  FW         Yaya Sanogo

23           England                FW         Danny Welbeck

24           Spain                     DF           Héctor Bellerín

25           England                DF           Carl Jenkinson

26           Argentina            GK          Emiliano Martínez

29           Switzerland        MF         Granit Xhaka

31           France                  MF         Jeff Reine-Adélaïde

33           Czech Republic    GK          Petr Čech

34           France                  MF         Francis Coquelin

35           Egypt                     MF         Mohamed Elneny

We have tried our best to ensure factual accuracy at the date of going to press – apologies in advance for any errors or out of date information.  

For the very latest updates please follow the link below to the club web site: www.arsenal.com

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