Vardy’s late strike earns Leicester City point at Arsenal

Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy pounced to score a crucial late equaliser as they hit back against Arsenal to draw 1-1 in the English Premier League (EPL) on Tuesday.

The equaliser came after the London side’s substitute Eddie Nketiah was sent off late on.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s 20th league goal of the season looked like handing the hosts a fourth successive win to maintain their late push for a top four finish.

Visiting goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel made several fine saves to keep Leicester City in the game after Aubameyang’s 21st minute goal, but the visitors came back strongly in the second half.

Arsenal had Nketiah sent off in the 75th minute for a reckless tackle on James Justin  a decision made after referee Chris Kavanagh viewed a pitchside monitor.

Leicester City then levelled in the 84th minute as Premier League top goalscorer Vardy found space at the far post to tap home Demarai Gray’s low cross for his 22nd goal of the season.

Vardy had an anxious wait as the decision was checked by VAR for a possible offside but the goal stood.

The Foxes then looked favourites to grab a late winner and claim their first league win at Arsenal since 1973.

They had to make do with a point, however, although that should be a relief for manager Brendan Rodgers whose side had earlier been leapfrogged in the table by Chelsea.

Leicester City, who have won only twice in 10 league games, are four points above fifth-placed Manchester United who have a game in hand.

Arsenal would have closed the gap on Leicester City to six points had they managed to hold on, but remained nine back in seventh spot with four games remaining.

“We should have been three or four nil up in the first half.

“We lost two points, we lost Eddie and we will see now for how many games.

“But we go to Spurs (on Sunday) now and try to win three points,” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said.

Leicester City began the game in sprightly fashion but were rocked when Arsenal youngster Bukayo Saka played a sliderule pass across the greasy surface for Aubameyang to slot home.

The hosts were rampant for a while and Schmeichel made crucial saves to deny Alexandre Lacazette, Hector Bellerin and Saka as Leicester City wobbled.

Arsenal were less of a threat after the break, however, and Vardy scuffed one effort when he should have scored.

Nketiah’s red card paved the way for more late pressure and Arsenal finally cracked as Vardy struck.

“I think this is a really, really important point for us to keep the momentum going.

“My only disappointment is that we didn’t go on and win the game,” Rodgers said. (Reuters/NAN)