Vardy, who was introduced as a substitute during the game scored with just 10 minutes remaining, heading in fellow substitute Cengiz Under’s cross as the Foxes beat the Gunners in their own back yard for the first time since 1973, with what was their first attempt on target.
Alexandre Lacazette headed Arsenal in front early but the goal was ruled out for offside and he and strike partner, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, were guilty of squandering a host of first-half opportunities as the Gunners slipped to a third defeat of the season.
Leicester City‘s manager, Brendan Rodgers, on the night won his 300th match as a manager and lifts the Foxes up to fourth in the Premier League, three points clear of the Gunners, who remain 10th.
Very early into the game, Bernd Leno almost gave Arsenal fans a scare when his clearance fell to James Maddison whose long-range effort hit the side-netting of an empty post.
The Gunners, however, settled and dominated the game from then on.
They even seemed to have got off to the perfect start just inside four minutes as Lacazette flicked on from Dani Ceballos’ corner into the post but the Gunners’ celebrations were short-lived, with an instant offside flag penalising Granit Xhaka and Aubameyang for interfering with play, despite neither touching the ball.
Arsenal continued in that vein, creating a flurry of chances midway through the first half as David Luiz keeps finding Kieran Tierney on the left of the attack, but Aubameyang and Lacazette sent headers over.
Lacazette missed arguably the best chance of the half as he somehow managed not to get his head on Tierney’s sublime cross on 29 minutes despite having the goal at this mercy from six yards.
The second half was more balanced as Leicester also found their rhythm and the introduction of Jamie Vardy swung the game crucially in their favour.
Substitute Cengiz Under broke away brilliantly from the Arsenal defence then selflessly squared for Vardy to nod home to the winner.
The Foxes left London basking in the glory of a famous victory 47 years in the making.
Stats and facts from the match (Backed by Opta)
- Leicester picked up their first away win at Arsenal since September 1973, ending a run of 27 games without an away victory against them in all competitions.
- Leicester striker Jamie Vardy has scored five goals at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League; the most of any visiting player (overtaking Harry Kane on four).
- Arsenal suffered their first Premier League home defeat of 2020, with this their first loss at the Emirates Stadium in the competition since Mikel Arteta’s first home game in charge (1-2 v Chelsea in December 2019).
- This was Leicester’s fourth victory in the Premier League this season; their joint-most after six games of a top-flight campaign, having also won four of their opening six in 2000-01.
- Leicester’s Jamie Vardy has scored 11 goals in 12 Premier League games against Arsenal – only Wayne Rooney (12) has netted more against the Gunners in the competition.
- Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has gone five league matches without a goal for the first time since November 2014, while playing for Borussia Dortmund.