The Sunday Post (Dundee)
It’s Gunner be a long season!
LEICESTER CITY 0 ARSENAL 0
LAST season’s top two in the Premier League avoided the nightmare that Arsene Wenger and Claudio Ranieri dreaded – pointless after two games.
Both managers might be tempted to paint a goalless draw as progress after opening day defeats, but they’d be kidding themselves.
The loser here would have been six points adrift of the Manchester clubs and Chelsea and have had people writing off their title chances before August is out.
As it is, it’s just the five points they’re behind. But no one watching could possibly claim they’d seen this season’s champions.
Leicester will feel most aggrieved because they had two reasonable penalty appeals turned away by referee Mark Clattenburg.
The first, a challenge by Laurent Koscielny on Danny Drinkwater at the end of the first half was a tight call.
The second, a tangle of legs involving Hector Bellerin and Leicester substitute Ahmed Musa, was even tighter.
Ranieri has already won two battles against Wenger this season when first Jamie Vardy then Riyad Mahrez were persuaded to stay despite strong Arsenal interest.
Last season Leicester lost only three League games and two of them were against the Gunners.
Their failure to win this one means they’ve still not beaten Arsenal in the Premier League in 20 attempts.
Pre-kick-off Foxes fans unfurled an enormous banner at one end of the King Power, proclaiming their team to be “Champions of England.”
“Shall we win the League for you,” they teased the Arsenal fans, but you get the feeling that they know their reign is one of those one-time only deals.
Nothing they saw in the following 90-odd minutes would have changed that feeling.
There was no sign of lack of hunger from the Foxes, just a lack of composure – passes hit too long, half-chances snatched at, too much anxiety to please.
Some things never change, TV replays could prove him right or wrong. Leicester suffered a major blow early in the second half when N’Golo Kante’s replacement, Nam palys Mendy, hobbled off with an ankle injury on his home debut.
Mahrez won a free kick, took it himself and dipped the ball just over Cech’s bar as Leicester suddenly began to look more like they did last season.
Bellerin drilled in a shot that Schmeichel was able to comfortably pat down but Arsenal were a much diminished force for much of the second period.
Leicester wasted a lightning break with Mahrez’s sloppy pass to Vardy, then Marc Albrighton put Vardy through and he blazed wide of the near post.
Late on Wenger introduced Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere and Olivier Giroud and you wondered why he hadn’t done it sooner.
However, Morgan’s block on Walcott in the 80th minute then Schmeichel’s save from Ozil three minutes later preserved Leicester’s clean sheet.
Bellerin’s challenge on Musa, followed a few minutes later by a Cech save from Mahrez, saw the Gunners also escape with their goal intact.