Belfast Telegraph

Brendan Rodgers and Unai Emery in focus after Leicester’s win over Arsenal

A 2-0 victory was enough to take the Foxes up to second in the Premier League table and nine points clear of their visitors.

Unai Emery saw Arsenal beaten again (Bradley Cooper/PA)
Unai Emery saw Arsenal beaten again (Bradley Cooper/PA)

By PA Sport Staff

Brendan Rodgers and his Leicester side heaped more pressure on Arsenal head coach Unai Emery as they saw off the Gunners at the King Power Stadium on Saturday evening.

A 2-0 victory was enough to take the Foxes up to second in the Premier League table and nine points clear of their visitors – who have now won just two of their last 10 league games.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at how the two respective mangers fared on a wet night in the East Midlands.

Team Selection

Given recent results it was no surprise that Rodgers opted to name an unchanged side for the fourth Premier League game in a row.

Emery, meanwhile, has tried several systems with a myriad of different personnel without stumbling across a winning formula.

The Spaniard plumped for a three-man defence for the first time in a league game this season while both Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin made their maiden league starts of the campaign.

Touchline demeanour

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Leicester City’s James Maddison (right) and manager Brendan Rodgers celebrate (Nick Potts/PA)

As is customary, Emery prowled his technical area – and beyond – for much of the game despite the pouring rain.

He barked instructions and kicked every ball whereas Rodgers emerged when he felt it necessary, making changes and urging his players on.

The Leicester boss purred with delight as his side eventually took the lead through Jamie Vardy as Emery cut a forlorn figure, watching his team slip to defeat.

Tactics

Emery set-up his side to breakdown any Leicester attacks, his wing-backs dropping in to form a five-man defence at times.

There was no pressing of Leicester when the hosts had possession, instead the Arsenal players sat deep in an attempt to stifle the opposition.

His plan worked well until Vardy opened the scoring for Leicester and they were forced to come out and chase an equaliser.

From that point on they were wide open and luck to only ship once more as Rodgers stuck to the game plan which has seen the Foxes record six wins from their last seven league outings.

Responses

We can be disappointed with the result but with the attitude of the players Unai Emery

Despite another poor evening, Emery insisted he was pleased with the application of his team – “We can be disappointed with the result but with the attitude of the players,” he said.

“They did the game plan we prepared for. We started the first half by having chances by controlling the game, and at the start of the second half too, in our moment like we wanted.”

Rodgers, meanwhile, was delighted with Leicester’s performance and feels they are ready to majorly disrupt the established top-six – even if he refused to claim they could go all the way: “We are not really thinking about the title race,” he said.

“I suppose for ourselves, we have thrown a hand grenade right into the middle of them all. Our job is to improve and to be better.”

Future

The win only reinforces Leicester’s position as genuine top-four contenders this season, with eight victories from their opening 12 games.

Rodgers continues to prove he has was it takes to secure a return to the Champions League as some Arsenal fans will be wishing he had been appointed as Arsene Wenger’s successor at the Emirates Stadium.

Emery, the man who did get that job, remains under pressure heading into the international break on the back of a run of one win from seven across all competitions and a team that shows no sign of turning things around in time to rescue their season.

PA

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