London - Premier League champions Leicester City and last season's runners-up
Arsenal remain without a win this season after a slow-burning 0-0 draw
at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.
Beaten 2-1 at promoted Hull
City last weekend, Leicester avoided the ignominy of becoming the first
English champions to lose their first two games since Aston Villa in
But Claudio Ranieri's side were frustrated by two
unsuccessful penalty shouts - one in each half -- and also lost full
debutant Nampalys Mendy to an apparent ankle injury.
looked far more robust than the team beaten 4-3 by Liverpool a week ago
and were able to welcome back Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Ozil and Olivier
Giroud from their post-Euro 2016 breaks.
But with the season only
two games old, both Arsene Wenger's men and Leicester are already five
points off the pace set by Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea
Ranieri had given starts to Demarai Gray and new
signings Luis Hernandez and Ahmed Musa at Hull, but he reverted to last
season's formula for the visit of Arsenal, three months on from his
side's title coronation.
Robert Huth returned from suspension in
place of Hernandez, along with Marc Albrighton and Shinji Okazaki, and
Mendy stepped into the midfield hole created by N'Golo Kante's move to
With Arsenal dominating possession on a blustery East
Midlands afternoon, it also allowed Leicester to adopt the
counter-attacking formula that saw them storm the table in the first
half of last season.
Arsenal were reduced to potshots, Alex
Oxlade-Chamberlain, in for the injured Alex Iwobi, curling wide and
Santi Cazorla, who replaced the hamstrung Aaron Ramsey, shooting
straight at Kasper Schmeichel.
The first moment of contention in
the Arsenal box occurred late in the half, after Petr Cech had saved at
the feet of Jamie Vardy.
Drinkwater, following up, tumbled over Koscielny's outstretched leg, but
referee Mark Clattenburg played on and despite the home fans' boos,
television replays vindicated his call.
Leicester suffered a
setback early in the second half when Mendy had to go off after seeming
to injure his right ankle, with Andy King taking his place.
the hosts began to show greater enterprise in attack, Riyad Mahrez
drawing an untidy foul from Francis Coquelin and then whipping a shot
narrowly over the bar from the free-kick that followed.
game becoming scrappy, Ranieri introduced Leonardo Ulloa to the mix and
with 20 minutes to play Vardy spurned a gilt-edged chance to break the
Albrighton caught Granit Xhaka dawdling and sent the
ball skidding into Vardy's path, but with Koscielny sliding in to close
him down, the England man skewed his shot wide.
Wenger sent on Jack Wilshere, Ozil and Giroud from the bench and the visitors began to make inroads.
Walcott threatened twice, forcing a save from Schmeichel and a fine,
stretching block from Wes Morgan, while Alexis Sanchez teed up Ozil for
an effort that drew Schmeichel racing from his line to block.
Leicester saw a strong penalty appeal turned away late on when Hector
Bellerin appeared to trip substitute Musa in a tangle of legs just
inside the box, only for Clattenburg to shake his head once more.
was time for one last scare in the Arsenal box as Mahrez left Koscielny
on the deck before taking aim, but Cech parried to extend his side's
unbeaten run against Leicester to 22 games.