Leicester City vs Arsenal match report: Arsene Wenger backs faltering Yaya Sanogo and ignores fans’ plea for a new striker

Leicester 1 Arsenal 1

King Power Stadium

Arsène Wenger’s analysis was that Arsenal could still have won this match without extra, better strikers but not everyone thought that way after watching them labour their way through a tight draw with Leicester City.

LEICESTER 1 ARSENAL 1 - AS IT HAPPENED

The travelling Arsenal fans made their feelings very clear at the final whistle – they want to see real movement in the transfer market tomorrow – but only one man’s judgement counts and he was sat in the dugout, not the away end, at the King Power Stadium in the late-summer sun today.

Arsenal might well be pleased enough with this point – taking them to five from their first three games of the Premier League season – but they did not deserve anything more, having done almost nothing to threaten Leicester. “Our game wasn’t quick, sharp or simple enough,” Wenger said afterwards, “We didn’t look like we could finish the game off.”

Their one goal, from Alexis Sanchez, was set up by a poor Yaya Sanogo shot and even worse defending from four Leicester players.

Beyond that, Arsenal offered very little, their midfield play always foundering on the lack of useful movement in front of them. It would be easy enough to blame Sanogo for this, after another performance in which he showed almost none of the qualities expected in an Arsenal centre-forward, but ultimately he did not pick this team nor build this squad.

Wenger did and while he while he certainly knows more about Arsenal than anyone, his analysis did not seem quite as accurate, or as punchy, as that of the 3,300 travelling fans, who spent the final minutes of the game imploring him, in blunt English, to “Please sign a striker”. It will not have helped their mood that Loïc Rémy’s move to Chelsea was confirmed during the first half.

Arsene Wenger looks on from the dugout Arsene Wenger looks on from the dugout Speaking before the game at his pre-match press conference on Friday morning, Wenger insisted that signing a striker after Olivier Giroud’s broken ankle would impede chances for Sanogo and Chuba Akpom, giving the example of Nicolas Anelka’s success in 1997-98, filling in for the injured Ian Wright. Everyone connected with Arsenal wants to see Sanogo do well, but this afternoon did not make Wenger’s hopes look any more realistic.

This was Sanogo’s second competitive start of the season – he began the Community Shield, and lasted 45 minutes, then 62 minutes against Crystal Palace – and he looked as rusty and clumsy as might be expected. His first involvement set the tone, when a poor touch from a Santi Cazorla pass allowed Liam Moore to rob him. Then, he could not reach an Aaron Ramsey chip over the top. Fortunately for Arsenal, it was Sanogo’s treatment of his next opportunity that put them into the lead.

Cazorla, Arsenal’s best attacking player in a rather flat performance, took a pass from Ramsey, 20 yards from goal. Assessing the options in front of him, Cazorla flipped a pass over the defence to Sanogo, to the right of goal. The 21-year-old, still without a senior goal for Arsenal, tried a difficult right-footed volley but scuffed it and it hit Kasper Schmeichel. Leicester’s defending was generally good but in this case it was not, and the ball rolled slowly through three blue shirts, to Sanchez who tapped it in.

Leicester's backline held firm and countered effectively Leicester's backline held firm and countered effectively It was not a beautiful move but it was still Arsenal’s most effective attack of the afternoon. While they were recorded as having had 24 shots, Nigel Pearson could honestly say afterwards that he “didn’t feel particularly threatened”. The best other opening came 10 minutes into the second half, when Cazorla chipped another pass through, to Ramsey, who weakly headed straight at Schmeichel when he might have nodded the ball across to Sanogo, unmarked in front of goal. With 12 minutes left Lukas Podolski came on for Sanogo but did not offer much improvement.

The best striker’s performance of the match, in fact, came from Leonardo Ulloa, Leicester’s record signing and the man who ensured they took their deserved point. Forming an unlikely partnership with David Nugent, Ulloa put himself about all afternoon, running the channels, chasing the ball and scoring a brilliant header, two minutes after Sanchez’s strike.

Jeffrey Schlupp raced down the left wing, receiving a return pass and bursting away from Per Mertesacker. He floated a perfect cross towards goal where Ulloa peeled away from Laurent Koscielny and headed the ball emphatically past Wojciech Szczesny. Koscielny had just spent four minutes off the field with a head injury, sustained in a clash with Schlupp, and having continued to bleed he was replaced by Callum Chambers almost immediately after Ulloa’s goal. Wenger said the goal would not have happened had Koscielny not been hurt and while he may be right, Ulloa and Leicester both deserved it.

Leonardo Ulloa celebrates his goal for Leicester Leonardo Ulloa celebrates his goal for Leicester Riyad Mahrez nearly put Leicester ahead soon after, beating Chambers but shooting straight at Szczesny, but it was Ulloa who missed the best chance to win the match, eight minutes after the interval.

Ulloa exchanged passes with Mahrez and took the return ball when pulling away to the left of goal. He dragged it back inside, sending the inexperienced Chambers hurtling the other way, and decided to chip the ball with his instep into the near top corner. He did not quite get it right, though, and the ball hit the side netting.

While the intensity increased in the final stages, the quality did not and there were few usable chances for either side. The best came, with seven minutes left, when Jamie Vardy received a return pass from Nugent, skipped away from Mathieu Flamini but shot straight at Szczesny.

Leicester, ultimately, did not have enough striking quality to win the game either. Their fans, though, were delighted at the final whistle. They have not just lost last season’s top scorer for the rest of the calendar year, nor are they hoping for a title challenge this season. Expectations are different at Arsenal and, unless something unlikely happens, they could well be disappointed again.

Suggested Topics
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Sport
Esteban Cambiasso makes it 3-3
premier league
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
people'I hated him during those times'
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleMemoir extracts show iconic designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Life and Style
fashionAlexander Fury's Spring/Summer 2015 London Fashion Week roundup
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late on stage in Brixton show
News
i100
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
News
people''Women's rights is too often synonymous with man-hating'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam