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Published: 18:01 | 20/8/16

Leicester & Arsenal play out goalless draw


Champions Leicester City are off the mark for the new Premier League season after playing out a goalless draw with last season's runners-up Arsenal at the King Power Stadium.

The stalemate sees Leicester's winless Premier League run against the Gunners extend to 20 matches, but Foxes' boss Claudio Ranieri will be delighted with his side's performance and the way his players responded to last week's setback at Hull.

Leicester goalkeeper Kaspar Schmeichel was called into action just once in the first half, to beat out an angled Santi Cazorla free-kick that was creeping in at the far post.

Arsenal's lack of goal threat perhaps showed just how important Robert Huth is to Leicester's defensive unit - without the German alongside him at the KCOM Stadium last week, Wes Morgan looked nervy and off the boil as the Foxes shipped two goals to the ante-post relegation favourites.

The champions took time to settle, but improved as the half went on, and Ranieri will feel his side should have been awarded a penalty just before the break.

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech was out smartly to block Jamie Vardy's first-time shot on the run from Riyad Mahrez's sublime angled pass, but, as the ball ran loose, Laurent Koscielny seemed to clip Danny Drinkwater on the right-hand edge of the area.

However, referee Mark Clattenburg ruled that the French defender got a touch on the ball and waved play on.

England's refereeing representative at Euro 2016 was also in a generous mood at the start of the second half, opting not to show a second yellow card to Francis Coquelin when the Arsenal midfielder seemed to clip Mahrez on the edge of the area.

Theo Walcott then spurned a good opportunity on 81 minutes when he hesitated in front of goal, allowing Morgan the opportunity to race back and nick the ball off him with a brilliant last-gasp tackle.

And, then, in the final minute, Clattenburg again kept his whistle dry by not awarding Leicester a penalty after Hector Bellerin clumsily caught Foxes' substitute Ahmed Musa in the area.

Mahrez, who turned down a move to Arsenal over the summer to the delight of the home fans, who chanted "Mahrez thinks you're s**t" to the away supporters, almost nicked all three points deep into injury-time following a mazy run, but the reigning PFA Player of the Year ended up shooting straight at Cech.

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