LEICESTER (United Kingdom), April 28: Jamie Vardy scored twice as Arsenal’s hopes of Champions League football suffered another serious setback as familiar failings saw the 10-man Gunners lose 3-0 at Leicester on Sunday.
It was the third time in seven days that the north London side, once renowned for an impregnable defence, had conceded three goals following 3-2 and 3-1 Premier League defeats by Crystal Palace and Wolves respectively.
Leicester’s Youri Tielemans opened the scoring at the King Power Stadium in the second half and Vardy netted twice for the Foxes after the visitors had defender Ainsley Maitland-Niles dismissed for two bookable offences before half-time.
The winning goals, however, owed little to that dismissal.
Arsenal failed to stop James Maddison’s cross or mark Tielemans as he stole in to head home the first, then were embarrassingly outwitted by a goal-kick from which Vardy poached the second with the help of a rebound off the crossbar.
It left Unai Emery’s men facing an uphill battle to force their way back into the top four, although victory in the Europa League could also secure a Champions League place.
Three defeats in a row, however, have left Emery with a clear picture of the failings that linger from Arsene Wenger’s reign.
Maddison had a curling shot from the edge of the Arsenal penalty area deflected wide early on before Tielemans volleyed off target from a similar position.
Arsenal had shown little attacking threat but, when Maddison squandered possession on 22 minutes, the Gunners built a quick counter-attack from which they could have opened the scoring. (AFP)