Youri Tielemans hailed Leicester’s first win at Arsenal in almost half a century as a “very important” result on the back of two Premier League defeats.
The Foxes secured a 1-0 victory at the Emirates Stadium as Jamie Vardy came off the bench to once again prove the scourge of Arsenal.
Vardy, 33, has now hit 11 Premier League goals against the Gunners with only former Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney able to boast more.
Vards ➕ scoring vs. Arsenal
Name a better duo… pic.twitter.com/9oSa6eLFeO
— Leicester City (@LCFC) October 26, 2020
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers revealed after the game that his plan was to keep Arsenal at bay before introducing Vardy, who had missed the previous two matches with a calf injury, into the fray.
The tactic worked to perfection as Vardy headed home the only goal of the game with 10 minutes remaining to give Leicester a first away win at Arsenal in 47 years and take them into the top four despite recent defeats to West Ham and Aston Villa.
“We are absolutely buzzing from that win,” Tielemans told LCFC TV.
“I think it was a very important one.
We call this "The Vardy Effect" 🦋 pic.twitter.com/qZLtHlqcQi
— Leicester City (@LCFC) October 25, 2020
“We came from two back-to-back defeats in the Premier League, so it was really important to have a result.
“We knew that we had to be patient, especially in that first half, with them being on the ball and trying to break through our lines and in behind.
“We had to keep our lines narrow and really tight and try to break on the counter and that’s what we did. That’s where the goal came from and we are really happy with the result.”
Tielemans started the breakaway move which resulted in Vardy’s goal as his ball over the top of the Arsenal defence set Cengiz Under in behind with the Turkey international then providing the all-important cross.
“It is really good for us,” Tielemans replied when asked about having Vardy back fit.
“We were a bit unsure if he was going to play or not, but in the end, he played, he came on.
“He did great, he worked for the team really hard and then he was in a good place at a good moment, so he scored that goal and we won 1-0.
“We kept a clean sheet at the back, which is really important for the future, and now we have to move on and go again.”
Arsenal endured a largely frustrating evening as they were unable to get in behind the Leicester defence on a regular basis.
Alexandre Lacazette had an early header controversially ruled out for offside against team-mate Granit Xhaka before missing a fine close-range chance later in the first half.
Hector Bellerin – who was arguably lucky to be on the pitch after a robust challenge on James Justin could have seen the full-back pick up a second booking – came closest to beating Kasper
Schmeichel but was denied by the Denmark goalkeeper.
The hosts also lost David Luiz to a thigh injury, the extent of which will be assessed in the coming days, as manager Mikel Arteta rued a missed opportunity for his side to push on up the table.
“I think we created enough chances in the first half to be in front,” he said.
Our first change of the evening…
Well played, David 👊
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 25, 2020
“They had 10 men behind the ball and then one occasion, when the ball is under no pressure, we tried to step in and that created the space and then they are through.
“After the 1-0, I think we have to play those moments better, there were too many free-kicks and we didn’t put the ball in the box enough.
“You start to force some passes that you shouldn’t do against these blocks but still they didn’t have any threat.
“They didn’t have any shots on target or anything but they were waiting for one moment and credit to them, they’ve done it.”