Leicester and Arsenal in goalless stalemate

Reigning champions Leicester City and Arsenal both picked up their first point of the new season, but it could have been a first win for the Foxes if a couple of big decisions went their way.

Both sides were aiming to bounce back from opening-weekend losses, Leicester at Hull while the Gunners lost a seven-goal thriller to Liverpool.

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri named the XI that carried the club to the title last season, the only exception being Nampalys Mendy, replacing the departed N’Golo Kante.

For the Gunners, Laurent Koscielny returned to the starting line-up, while summer signing Granit Xhaka was relegated to the bench.

Arsenal, in their hunt for new signings over the summer, targeted Foxes duo Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, however the pair committed their futures to Leicester.

And it was Vardy who got amongst it early on, forcing an early corner after a strong run at Frenchman Koscielny.

On 20 minutes, a cross from Hector Bellerin was cleared away by Wes Morgan, who then headed away a Theo Walcott cross as Arsenal threatened.

Arsenal dominated possession for almost all of the first half, managing 75% per cent of the ball. But only one real chance to show for it, Santi Cazorla denied by keeper Kasper Schmeichel.

Leicester had a shout for a penalty on 41 minutes. Vardy ran into the box, and was tackled by Petr Cech. The loose ball fell for Danny Drinkwater, and he was tackled by Cech and Koscielny. Replays showed Koscielny got the ball rather than the player.

Mendy was forced off through injury on 53 minutes, his studs appearing to catch in the turf. He was replaced by Andy King. Claudio Ranieri confirmed after the game that he picked up an ankle injury, and is due to be assessed in the next few days.

Francis Coquelin, earlier booked, then clattered into Mahrez on the edge of the area. Referee Mark Clattenburg kept his cards in his pocket, angering the Leicester fans further after the first-half penalty incident.

Alexis Sanchez managed to get through the centre-back pairing of Morgan and Robert Huth, but Schmeichel was able to clear his lines with an instinctive diving header.

The Gunners brought on Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere with just under twenty minutes to go, in an effort to force a winner.

Ahmed Musa went down in the box with two minutes left, again however, claims for a penalty were waved away. Mahrez then had an effort saved by Cech as the game ended goalless.

 

By Steve Osborne                 @BlizzardSteve75

 

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