Arsene Wenger tips “special” Arsenal to challenge for Premier League title next season

Arsene wenger tipped Arsenal to challenge for the Premier League title next season without him despite seeing their dire away form continue after Konstantinos Mavropanos saw red.

Wenger took charge of his penultimate match at the King Power Stadium as his 22-year reign comes to an end.

His side’s night started badly they fell behind to Kelechi Iheanacho’s early 14th minute opener.

And it swiftly got worse as his team’s hopes were hit by the sending off youngster Mavropanos just 60 seconds later.

But Wenger was heartened by the 10-man Gunners’ fighting back to level after the break through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Yet the home team ran out easy winners as Jamie Vardy struck from the spot 15 minutes from time.

Riyad Mahrez then made 3-1 in the 90th minute after a composed finish.

Arsenal’s French manager Arsene Wenger gestures on the touch line (Image: AFP)

It means the Gunners are still yet to win away in the Premier League this year which doesn’t bode well for Wenger’s final game at Huddersfield on Sunday.

But Wenger insisted: “If you look at our season we have championship-winning home form and away from home we have the consequences of many things.

“A lack of confidence causes a few bad results and after that we neglected some games because we were in the Europa League.

“But the quality is there and the spirit is exceptional.

“I think if the team get one or two good away results next year they will play for the Premier League next season, I am convinced.

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“There is something in special in that team that will come out next season and I am convinced Arsenal will be one of the contenders next year.”

The Foxes opened the scoring after Christian Fuchs clipped a pass to the back post, Fousseni Diabate touched it back and Iheanacho rifled in.

It was Iheanacho’s seventh goal, just his second in the top-flight, for the club since his big-money £25million move from Man City last summer.

Wenger predicts good times ahead for the Gunners (Image: Plumb Images)

The Nigerian international was then involved in Mavropanos’ dismissal when he charged down the defender’s clearance and sprang clear.

Rookie Greek stopper Mavropanos,20, pulled Iheanacho back and was swiftly shown a straight red by referee Graham Scott.

Arsenal keeper Petr Cech had a busy first half making saves from Harry Maguire, Adrien Silva and Iheanacho.

After the break the game started to open up as Shkodran Mustafi had to clear off the line from Diabate.

But Aubameyang smashed in his ninth goal at the second attempt in the 53rd minute with his left-foot after being denied by Eldin Jakupovic following great work by Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

Yet the Foxes prevailed after Henrikh Mkhitaryan was penalised for connecting with sub Demarai Gray in the box.

Contact was minimal but Vardy thumped in the spot-kick emphatically for his 18th Premier League goal this term.

Mahrez then grabbed his 12th of the season in the last minute to give Claude Puel his first win in five matches and leave Wenger bemoaning Scott’s display.

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Leicester were too good for the Gunners (Image: REUTERS)

The Frenchman added: “I disagreed with the red card because he wasn’t the last man.

“The penalty is very creative, imaginative from the referee.

“I have watched it again and it is a nice dive”

But Wenger admitted he was touched by the whole stadium singing: “One Arsene Wenger” late on as he got an ovation.

“I am grateful for the reaction of the crowd,” he said. “But overall I am frustrated after we lost the game as usual when we lose a game.”

 

 

 

 

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