On Tuesday evening, Arsenal hosted Leicester City in another must-win match to keep their Champions League hopes alive. Here are five things we learned from the 1-1 draw.
Needing a victory, Arsenal produced one of their best 45-minute performances under Mikel Arteta against Leicester City on Tuesday evening. They went 1-0 up, created several other opportunities on top of that, and looked largely dominant. Then the second half came, Leicester grew into the game, and Eddie Nketiah overstretched for a loose ball and was sent off, 90 seconds after being brought on. Jamie Vardy converted a late cross and that was that.
Here are five things we learned from the 1-1 draw.
5. Don’t blame Nketiah
Eddie Nketiah came on for Alexandre Lacazette in the 71st minute. 90 seconds later, he was stretching for a loose ball and strikes the inside of James Justin’s leg with his studs. By the 75th minute, he was trudging back down the tunnel following VAR overturning the initial yellow card decision.
The red card changed the game, and as soon as Nketiah left the pitch it left Arsenal scrambling to defend their lead. Leicester moved the ball well, eventually found Jamie Vardy in the penalty area, and snatched the equaliser. It left the Gunners ruing what could have been had Nketiah just controlled himself that little bit more.
Any blame for Nketiah, though, is utterly misplaced. He was brought on to chase loose balls and harass the Leicester defenders. He very nearly nicked the ball away from Justin and would have burst into space. Arteta would be more upset with Nketiah had he not challenged for the ball. It was a bad tackle that deserved a red card, but Nketiah is not to blame for these dropped points.