Leicester City 1 Arsenal 1 – 31 August 2014

Leonardo Ulloa’s second successive goal at home gave Leicester City a deserved point against Arsenal at the King Power Stadium this afternoon.

The visitors took the lead through a close-range strike from summer signing Alexis Sanchez, but Ulloa leapt above Laurent Koscielny to power a header past Wojciech Szczesny just two minutes after the restart.

Arsenal enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the second half but Leicester had the better chances to win, with Ulloa and Jamie Vardy coming close after the break.

Nigel Pearson’s men go into the international break without a win, but the manager will surely be very pleased with his side’s performances against Everton, Chelsea and Arsenal in their opening three fixtures, having gained two points along the way, and maintaining an unbeaten home record in the Premier League.

Pearson named an unchanged starting XI to the team that had suffered a 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge, while new signing Esteban Cambiasso was named among the substitutes, along with fit-again Danny Drinkwater and Jamie Vardy.

Arsenal began brightly with Santi Carzorla testing Kasper Schmeichel with an early shot on target, before Welsh international Aaron Ramsey saw his effort blocked for a corner.

At the other end, Riyad Mahrez fired just wide of the post from 20 yards with a fizzing low drive following a quick one-two with Andy King.

The visitors did take the lead after twenty minutes when Santi Carzorla’s lofted ball found Yaya Sanogo, and while the onrushing Kasper Schmeichel did enough to thwart the Frenchman’s effort, he could do nothing about the follow up from Alexis Sanchez, who hammered the ball into the net from twelve yards.

It was a disappointing goal for Leicester to concede, and one that might have been better dealt with, but a powerful finish by the Chilean international and former Barcelona man.

Leicester’s response, as it had been against Everton two weeks ago, was instantaneous, and the hosts were level just two minutes later when Jeffrey Schlupp picked out Leonardo Ulloa with a fine cross from the left wing, who leapt above Laurent Koscielny to head past the helpless Wojciech Szczesny in the Arsenal goal to level the score.

It was a fine header by Ulloa and the Argentine’s second goal in successive home matches, as he continues to impress since his move to the King Power Stadium this summer, but also an excellent response by Leicester to going a goal behind at home.

Sanogo saw his shot blocked by Liam Moore midway through the first period, as Arsenal continued to dominate possession in attacking areas, but the Foxes finished the half strongly with Mahrez testing Szczesny with a powerful shot on target from the edge of the penalty area.

Leicester began the second half well, with Andy King quickly finding David Nugent in the penalty area, but his header was blocked and cleared by the Arsenal defence.

At the other end, Sanogo had another shot blocked by Liam Moore, before Santi Carzorla hit the side netting after some great interplay with Alexis Sanchez.

Leonardo Ulloa then had a fantastic opportunity to put the Foxes ahead after an excellent one-two with Riyad Mahrez, but, after leaving Callum Chambers in his wake, could only find the side netting.

Leicester were withstanding long periods without the ball as Arsenal continued to look dangerous in attack, and Kasper Schmeichel needed to be quick off his line to win a one-on-one with Yaya Sanogo after a clever ball through by Nacho Monreal.

Nugent had another effort blocked just after the hour mark as Riyad Mahrez continued to cause Arsenal problems, before Santi Carzorla’s deflected shot grazed the top of the net of Schmeichel’s goal.

Leicester were beginning to look tired, as Marc Albrighton, Jamie Vardy and Danny Drinkwater were introduced within ten minutes of each other, but the defence was resolute, as Wes Morgan made another crucial block from an Alexis Sanchez low ball across the six yard  box.

But the Foxes looked sharp on the break, and almost took the lead with seven minutes remaining when Jamie Vardy burst through the middle of the park and played a clever one-two with strike partner David Nugent, but Szczesny was equal to Vardy’s curling strike and the score remained level.

Drinkwater fired wide from distance in added time with the Foxes arguably on top and in search of a winner, but the final whistle confirmed that the points were shared after a thoroughly entertaining match.

Man of the Match – Ritchie De Laet