Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Report: Leicester City 2-5 Arsenal (inc. goals)

Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Cazorla, Ramsey, Alexis, Ozil, Walcott

Subs: Ospina, Debuchy, Gibbs, Arteta, Chambers, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud

__

Alexis Sanchez netted a hat-trick as Arsenal came from behind at the King Power Stadium to secure an impressive 5-2 win over Leicester. Theo Walcott cancelled out Jamie Vardy’s early opener on 18 minutes before Alexis pounced in the box to give the Gunners the lead heading into half time. The Chilean then headed home a beautiful Mesut Ozil cross on 57 minutes before adding gloss to the victory with a stunning strike from 25-yards. There was still time for Vardy to grab his second and for Olivier Giroud to net in stoppage time off the bench as the Gunners claimed the points.

Pre-game

In the absence of Francis Coquelin, Mathieu Flamini – fresh from his two-goal salvo at White Hart Lane – was selected ahead of Mikel Arteta to partner Santi Cazorla in the heart of midfield. Alexis, Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott – all rested in midweek – returned to the starting XI; Olivier Giroud and the Ox dropped to the bench. At the back Petr Cech was in goal while Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal came in for Mathieu Debuchy and Kieran Gibbs. With Gabriel suspended the Mertesielny ‘Axis of Awesome’ returned to action.

First half

As the only unbeaten side in the Premier League Leicester came into the game full of confidence and it showed from the off as they hassled the Gunners all over the pitch. Arsenal were consequently sloppy in possession, particularly in the final third where, a Cazorla shot aside, we offered little in the opening stages.

In stark contrast Leicester looked like they might score every time they bombed forward. Cech did well to deny Jeff Schlupp on nine minutes and moments later the dangerous Vardy hit the post with an effort that took a slight deflection off Mertesacker. The Leicester striker, recently capped by England, proved a constant threat and on 12 minutes broke the deadlock as the home side sprung from one end of the field to the other in the blink of an eye.

As Aaron Ramsey looked for a penalty in the Leicester box, a long ball was lofted 60-yards up the pitch to the striker who cut into the box from the right flank and curled home past Cech. (1-0)

Leicester came close to doubling their lead five minutes later hitting the bar with a header before Arsenal finally got their act together, delivering a blistering counter attack of their own that resulted in a fine Walcott finish. Santi Cazorla was the architect shredding the defence with a perfect through ball that Theo controlled on the run before applying a cool left-foot finish past Kasper Schmeichel off the post. (1-1)

Every time Leicester attacked Arsenal returned the favour, the unrelenting pace of the game was astounding. It proved too much for Flamini who picked up a hamstring problem trying to keep up; he was replaced by Arteta midway through the half.

Leicester continued to bomb forward in numbers and for a second time Arsenal made them pay for their gung-ho attitude. As Vardy and Shinji Okazaki complained about an off-the-ball Arteta block on the Japan international the Gunners put together a slick move that saw Ramsey and Ozil – with a beautiful kiss of a pass – free Bellerin whose ball across the six-yard box was finished by Alexis at the back post after Walcott failed to connect. Unsurprisingly, the Chilean was ecstatic to open his account for the season. (2-1)

There were further chances for both sides in the dying embers of the first half with Cazorla fizzing an effort past the post, Walcott denied by a last-ditch challenge as he latched onto an Ozil pass, Wes Morgan close to connecting with a dangerous set piece and Mahrez shooting wide from range. It could have been 4-4 at the break.

Second half

Buoyed by his goal Alexis Sanchez looked a real threat in and around the box. Three times in the opening eight minutes of the second half he went close as Walcott and Ozil combined repeatedly to feed him dangerous balls.

At the fourth time of asking Sanchez finally got it right. After Ramsey and Bellerin worked the ball down the right the ball made it’s way to Ozil who dinked the most delicious cross in front of Schmeichel for the Chilean to flick a header home from close range. It was a goal of real beauty. (3-1)

With goals on the scoreboard Arsenal’s aesthetically pleasing passing game came to the fore. Handsome moves, conducted at pace saw Walcott and Ozil repeatedly handed chances to bag a fourth but neither could apply a killer finish. Ramsey was similarly tepid in his shooting although he was unlucky on one occasion when Walcott deflected one threatening shot wide.

Leicester, who twice in recent weeks had rescued points from two goal deficits, refused to surrender but became noticeably slower in possession as fatigue took its toll in the autumn sunshine. Claudio Ranieri sent on Leonardo Ulloa to add more muscle up front, Wenger replaced Ramsey with Chamberlain and sent Giroud into the mix.

Having been a constant threat all game Sanchez finally bagged his hat trick with a moment of individual brilliance. 80 minutes were on the clock when he picked up the ball 30-yards from goal, flicked it into a shooting position and then arrowed a low swerving finish inside Schmeichel’s near post. (4-1)

Vardy’s pace stretched the Gunners to the last and Cech had to make several smart saves before the attacker bagged his second of the game with two minutes remaining. (4-2) By this point there had been 40 attempts on goal between the two sides, incuding 17 on target.

Amazingly, there was still time for more goal action. In the dying moments of stoppage time Giroud swept home his third of the season. (5-2)

On a frantic afternoon it was nice to escape with three points and safeguard the legacy of the ‘Invincibles’ for another season. Nice work boys.

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Cornelius P. Snuffington III

What a great performance. I thought after the tap-in that the floodgates might have opened for Alexis, and the two goals that followed were brilliant! What a header on the second, with an amazing little dink that Ozil made look so easy. This is the performance we all wanted to see. Walcott I also thought was excellent, he worked hard and was involved a lot, made some great runs off the ball and his pace was vital. Nice to see Koscielny and Mertesacker back there reforming their partnership. Gabriel has an exciting future with the club but for right now… Read more »

Cygan

Do you Gabriel might have catched up with Vardy for the first goal? Mert isn’t the fastest as we all know.

Cygan

Missing think….

GunnerDareMacedonia

First if you watch closely it was terrible mistake from per when the ball is played from the defending corner from lester 16 box per starter running forward to try to caught vardy offside which he mislead himself and allowed vardy free run to goal if he stayed back vardy would have done nothing per would easily clear the ball to out wit simple header or smash it forward.but brilliant win anyway.

Samgunz

Yeh Per was a downer on the game, Gabriel would have helped Koscielny more, he was brilliant as usual. Cazorla was my motm before Sanchez got the 3rd, or Walcott, tough call but Santi was back to his best today and it helped a lot as Ozil was hot n cold.

Gunner From Another Mother

Not to bag on Per too hard, because I think overall he had a pretty good game, but the first goal is completely down to him. He steps up for no reason just before the pass is played and then Vardy is free to run at goal, and we knew Mert wasn’t going to catch him. I don’t think Gabriel steps up, and even if he had he probably has got the pace to make up for it and catch him. I’d say as well that Kos made the right call by staying on his man in the box and… Read more »

Nigerian

Sanchez us back! And it’s a good feeling too.

Gab's Scratch Mark

Agreed for the most part but I actually don’t think we missed Coq that much. He’s been our best Def CM since last Dec or Jan but this shows that perhaps those fans that has written off both Arteta and Flam-boyant has been too quick to judge. A lack of something “new” doesn’t necessarily mean the “old” is bad.

COYG!

assistantref

We missed him bad in the first 15 or 20 minutes. We were on the rocks for a while there, midfield was being totally outmuscled.

Gab's Scratch Mark

Outmuscled yes but not outplayed. I’m not even dismissing the Coq’s influence, all I’m saying is our backups to him is more than adequate.

Arteta and Flamini weren’t outpaced and overpowered to the point where it was a major weakness.

Less Rambly Pete

Great stuff indeed. And with the win we can say Happy VanNeistltine’s day (I believe this moniker was suggested the other day) to one and all.

Goon

Walcott played well and this is coming from one of his critics. I still think he’s better on the wing though.

SB

Ozil, Carzola and Bellarin are the platform on which Walcott is setup to grow into a game changer that he was expected to become.

Not to forget, Sanchez who already is one.

Parisian Weetabix

*heavy breathing* it’s Ca-zor-la

Silent Stan's Content Mustache

This is one scary team when Walcott, Alexis and Ozil all click at the same time. Pure quality from Alexis, more please.

Jijo

They really showed what they are capable of..! Quality stuff…!

Pedant

I thought Cohesion had a good match.

Arseblog-mania

Indeed, cohesion was MOTM for me

I can see paddlings a’coming in the horoscopes of our upcoming opponents

Ferngunner

I knew it was those pink boots. Glad they are gone.

DialSquareGoon

Alexis is back, baby! Good win! Hmmm, that Vardy fellow isn’t half bad, is he? Just saying, Arsene.

Ferngunner

But Arsene is a follower not a buyer

eddymc2

He is little bit racist, no?

Austin Gooner

I thought he had two dirty fouls on Kos as well: the push in the back in the 2nd half and the kick to Kos’ head in the first. He made it look like he was trying to leap over Kos, but there’s no way he’s not trying to hurt him there. Unimpressed.

Mpls

This was exactly (more or less) the comment I was going to make. Very dirty afters when Kos cut out his break. Vardy lashed out at him quite nastily and ran through him when all he had to do was check his run when he was beat.

Stan

And the floodgates opened !!!!!

Temi

Couldn’t watch the game but followed live. My MOTM? Blogs who kept us up to speed through it all. 5 goals?! I’ll take this drought today any day!

Theo

We cannot let spuds have a better scoreline.

Maniac

Alexis back in style! Also probably the first game this season that I felt we were really up for it. Keep it up lads!

Alexstratz

Finally a real match of football to watch. Much better than that shitshow put up by Cunt, Cunter, and Cuntest last week, whose names shall not be mentioned. Congratulations to Leicester for actually playing the game, even against a much better opposition. It takes 2 to have a good game.

I don't comment here often

Absolutely bonkers stuff today. It reminded me a bit of that 5-3 against Chelsea a few years ago. So many chances and loads of space in midfield. I doubt that many more teams are going to challenge Arsenal to a “two drunk’s slugging it out in front of a bar” style match this season, as these are the conditions players like Walcott, Ozil, and Sanchez tend to thrive in. Cazorla ran the midfield, Koscielny dominated at the back, and Nacho bossed the league’s form player. Great play from Cech as well. It was telling, though, that when Arteta came on… Read more »

Austin Gooner

Incredible that Leicester left themselves so open today. It was hugely entertaining, played at break-neck speed, but clearly the wrong plan from Ranieri. Even after their goal I felt this was our game, with all of the space for Walcott, Alexis, Özil and co to exploit. Really fun to watch! And great to see how committed the whole team was throughout the game.

Temi

Sexy Alexis

Me So Hornsey

No world class forwards, they said.

Exiledgooner

Cracking game, and nice to see Sanchez back to normal. Meanwhile, Sp*rs are proving yet again that they’re a textbook case of useful idiots.

assistantref

The great thing about sp*rs is you know next game they will lose to some lowly team 3-0.

Topgun

Bang Bang Bang Alexis

SB

Now Newcastle getting something out of the game will make it a good day.

Double98

Considering the Dean handicap adjustment we are joint top of the table

Me So Hornsey

Add the Ramsey goal v Liverpool and we’re 2 points clear.

Cygan

Excellent game, excellent Chech, excellent Monreal and superwonderful Alexis. 3 points from the top

cech170

To the guy who said Alexis is our one season wonder bahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
I’ve wanted to see this for so long perfect game

zeeno99

seems oli is always scoring from the bench compared to when he starts..

Getso gunner

Super Alexis

What

Alexis Sanchez, baby!

bigj

What a game, what a performance. I’m glad that the striker are now scoring

Lord Nicki B

Props to Leicester and their tireless players. Especially Jaime Vardy with those delicious finishes.

A brilliant match of football, with the Arsenal coming out on top. Oooh to be a Gooner.

dustwolf83

Ohhhhhhh Alexis on fire!

Boilermaker Gunner

Theo Walcott and Sanchez – take a bow!
Walcott held the ball up!
Very good team performance
And what a save by cech from point blank range at the end
We could’ve done better for the goals conceeded

Goon2time2beAlive

The game changed with Arteta coming on. Until then, we could not contain them nor dictate the pace. Santi was also incredible to day. Winning tackles, creating chances and taking on defenders at will.

Collins the original Lainzo

That was Fucking Sancheztic!!!

GUNS IN MY BLOOD

When he starts scoring he ain’t gonna stop now…….lovely Sanchez…

MLK

This was a phenomenal performance today. Excellent hat-trick from Alexis. What I really loved today though was the movement and hold up play from Walcott. It was the drawer on top of the top drawer. His movement created space for Alexis’ first two goals, I love when both those players click together. Also, excellent play from Avatar Eyes and Cazorla, they make it look so easy.

shokim

What an amazing result, with a Sanchez hat trick to top it off was special!

Hoped for a win but to have thrashed Leicester 5-2 away was beyond expectations!

Well done boys!

rch

Fantastic game. Respect to Leicester for trying to play us at our own game.They will cause many teams problems this season

k

What an entertaining game! It was a very impressive team performance. Like many, I thought Walcott had a very good first half. His movement was excellent as usual and his first touch was much improved today. It looked like Ramsey was forcing it a little in the first half but was impressive in the second and it was noticeable that when he swapped for the Ox Leicester found a little more space down our right. Not that the Ox was bad, but he was eager to get forward which he did well. Ozil made it look easy like normal, was… Read more »

GunneRonnie

Sanchez what a Player!
Ozil, that Pass for Sanchez’s second… Wow!
Today’s match highlights how vital Coq is to our well oiled machine..
we have conceded 4 since he left the field!

Gunnerlocutor

Can’t believe we are only 2 behind City and 3 off the top. Any chance we might get a bit more solid at the back? We relied a lot on Cech today and rode our luck at times. Missing Francis explains much of that I think.

Femi

Now that Sanchez has started with hat-trick,he will continue unabated! That control from Ozil before releasing the pass for Alexis’ second will rankle in my memory for long.

Happy for Giroud,his confidence will start to stand!

Leceister gave us the taste of an space match,little did they know that that would afford us destroy them because it was an #ArsenalGame,next time they play us,they will tame their exuberances.

Tuesday is massive,let’s destroy Olympiakos,then I will have a happy midweek,then destroy Man utd,I shall be filled with joy untold!

assistantref

rankle? it annoyed you?

afo

Alexis has awoken from his post south America slumber

Big Mad Andy

So flipping happy with pretty much everything right now.

Jezza

Happy Invincibles day!!

Lone Star Gunner

Alexis – Heeee’s Baaaaack! On his last goal, does he also get an assist? 🙂 What a move! Walcott – Nothing at all against Giroud, but Walcott won the starting job today for me. Great to see him finally contribute with passing, hold up play, movement, etc. Obviously there are times we still play Giroud, and he can earn his spot back, but this is the first day I’m actually excited about Walcott up front. Ozil – How many key passes and assists today did he have? How many chances did he create that could have been even more? What… Read more »

TexasGooner

Agree on all your points.

And it was refreshing to see a team like Leicester go out and play football the right way. They never parked the bus even when they were up 1-0. Great stuff to watch, back and forth In an open match. This allowed our quality to shine and bring out the best from Walcott, Sanchez, Ozil, etc.

Just what the doctor ordered to kick out season into high gear!

goonero

Woah! Once we went ahead we looked like we’d never stop scoring! Great stuff! Having Alexis, Giroud and Theo in good form before we take on the manc makes me a lot more confident. How they quietly weaseled their way to the top of the table I still can’t figure out.

chippy's chip

So theo scores again with an early ball, Alexis (should be a struker)sanchez baby gets a hatrick and even giroud scores from a cross. Normal service is resumed.

JAL

Seems to me we play very well in that Gold kit…. It’s def growing on me! What a difference a week makes.

GoonerAcrossAtlantic

Special mention to Theo. I always argue in his favor about the CF issue. I felt that he needed few games in that role to understand the certain nuances of the position, get stronger and familiar. He looks to be maturing into that role well. Still got few doubts but overall, he has improved vastly. less offside run, decent hold up and link ups. He has a decent shot at being a regular CF.

Hope it all works out well.

Mark

We really were fortunate not to be down 2 or 3 to nill which would have made it a different match, but after Walcott struck to level it 1-1 we seemed much more in control. Have to credit Leicster for having a go at us vs just sitting back which made it a much more enjoyable match to watch and showed how devastating we can be on the counter when we look for the open man. Too bad about Flamini going off, but do think that Arteta did a good job settling us down and letting us keep possession a… Read more »

paci

Cech
Bellerin Gabriel Koscienly Gibbs
Ramsey Santi
Ox Ozïl Sanchez
Wolcott
Arsenal title win

Man Manny

Not many things in this world are as beautiful as Arsenal in full flow: some of the football was simply breath-taking – Cazorla, Alexis, Ozil, Ramsey and Walcott are the best offensive combo you are going to see in the league this season. Only City come close.

Die Hard Gooner

ozil and cazorla majestic. sanchez in beast mode. very entertaining.

Lone Star Gunner

Two more comments:

– Is there any value (against the right opposition only), to trying two up front, with Giroud and Alexis or Walcott playing off each other? Hmm.

– Remember when Ozil first arrived and we were all salivating at Ozil and Cazorla pass mastering it on the same pitch? Did we see it really click for the first time today? I remember at least a few times where they were majestically switching the ball between each other, leaving the Foxes helpless.

Femi

All I want us to do is to beat Manure next week,then,I will be happier!

QWERTY

Just glad to see others step up to share the goal-scoring burden. What with Owen Gole’s loss of form and all that….

Alexisshorts

So happy with today’s result. Chel***t got what they deserved at Newcastle today. Who would’ve thought? Karma.
On another note. Just noticed that so many players commit several fouls before being given yellow card. Remember Diouf at the Emirates for Stoke?? And today, lots of lenience from refs. Why oh why did Cazorla get 2 yellows for 2 fouls at Stamford Bridge ? Crooked ref obv

blah

Blogs called it

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