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Mikel Arteta rues Arsenal’s wasted chances in loss to Leicester City

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By Hugh Lawson

LONDON – Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said his team had wasted their chances and seemed to lack purpose in their 1-0 loss at home to Leicester City on Sunday night.

Leicester substitute Jamie Vardy’s late close-range header was enough to give his side their first away win at Arsenal in 47 years.

While Arsenal created twice as many shots and won three times as many corners as the visitors, they were unable to find the net – even when standing right in front of it in the case of one wayward Alexandre Lacazette header.

“We didn’t look as sharp on the ball. We didn’t have much purpose on the ball,” Arteta told reporters after the match.

“We didn’t manage to have enough continuity in our play, we didn’t put the ball as often as we could in the box. It’s a very harsh result for us considering what happened in the game.”

Arsenal had looked capable of scoring repeatedly in the first half, when Leicester failed to register a single shot.

“I was really pleased with the first half, the way we pressed and the aggression we showed. We were effective with that and restricted them to nothing,” Arteta said.

But he also seemed bemused by striker Lacazette’s lack of finish: “The strikers need goals, and he looked sharp and aggressive in his play. He had the opportunity to score the goal, but he didn’t.”

Despite having only just recovered from a calf injury and coming on for only half an hour, Vardy looked razor-sharp in comparison and caused the Arsenal defence plenty of problems.

“He’s a world-class striker, an incredible talent,” his manager Brendan Rogers said after the match, acknowledging that his game plan had rested largely on Vardy’s shoulders.

“The plan was always to make sure we’re in the game, then put him (Vardy) on for half an hour.”

Arteta said that kind of ruthlessness in front of goal is exactly what his side will need to work on, referring to one late move where defender Hector Bellerin raced in to smash a volley goalward – but straight at Leicester keeper Kaspar Schmeichel.

“Credit to them, they are really organised and it’s difficult to create chances. We created a really good one with Hector and we didn’t convert. It’s an aspect we have to improve on.” (Reporting by Hugh Lawson; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

7083e278 3975 5237 a0cf 3a9f5e8f3019&operation=CROP&offset=302x0&resize=1739x1740 - Mikel Arteta rues Arsenal's wasted chances in loss to Leicester City

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