10-man Arsenal sliced apart by Leicester City, open door for Man United or Chelsea to get top four advantage

Another bad day in the office for Arsenal has seen hopes of finishing in the Premier League top four in great danger of finally fading away following a commanding 3-0 win for Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Sunday.

Following a goalless first half which saw Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles sent off, goals in the second half from Youri Tielemans and a double from Jamie Vardy, including the very last kick of the game in the 94th minute, put the sword through a poor Gunners team.

The Gunners went into the encounter knowing a bad result on the back of damaging defeats to Crystal Palace at home and away at Wolverhampton Wanderers would all but end their hopes of a top four finish in the league this season.

Emery made three changes to the starting team, with Mesut Ozil and Nacho Monreal missing out through injury while club captain Laurent Koscielny was dropped to the bench.

In their places, Pierre-Emerick Aubamyang started alongside Alexandre Lacazette upfront while Sead Kolasinac and Shkodran Mustafi were deployed in defence.

The changes did not yield the result Gunners head coach, Unai Emery, was expecting, as Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City bossed possession and created wave after wave of attacks on the Arsenal goal.

It was amid that heavy pressure on the Arsenal defence that the visitors were reduced to 10 men 10 minutes before half time as Maitland-Niles received his second yellow card for a foul on James Maddison.

That only opened the door for an already confident Leicester side to apply more pressure on Arsenal, with Rodgers taking off Super Eagles midfield man Wilfred Ndidi for a more attacking Harvey Barnes. Iwobi on his part went off for Koscielny.

Leicester were eventually rewarded for their dominance in the 59th minute when Maddison’s perfectly weighted cross was guided home by Tielemans’ powerful header.

Tielemans should have got himself a second 20 minutes later but was denied by the Arsenal woodwork but with the clock ticking down, Vardy came through with a late brace to seal a big win for the Foxes.

First he ran on to a Kasper Schmeichel goal kick and lobbed over an onrushing Bernd Leno. His effort came off the bar but the English striker beat Leno to the rebound to head home Leicester’s second goal.

And deep in stoppage time, he made it 3-0 with his 100th Premier League goal for the club, tapping in a Ricardo Pereira pass from close range and leave Arsenal’s Champions League dreams in tatters.

Leicester rise to eighth with 51 points with the win, three points behind Wolves, while Arsenal remain fifth with 66 points, a point behind Chelsea who play later on Sunday at sixth placed Manchester United.

A win for Chelsea at Old Trafford will put the Blues in pole position to finish in the top four along with third placed Tottenham Hotspur, while a win for the Red Devils would send them to fifth and leave Arsenal – who have now lost three in a row – firmly still in the race to finish in the top four.

What are your thoughts on this result?