Result: Arsenal 3 – 1 Leicester
Competition: Premier League
Date: 22 October 2018
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Arsenal starting XI: Leno, Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Lichtsteiner, Torreira, Xhaka, Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Iwobi, Lacazette
Subtitutes: Martinez, Medley, Guendouzi, Smith Rowe, Ramsey, Welbeck, Aubameyang
Arsenal made it 10 wins out of 10 in all competitions as goals from Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saw them come from a goal down to beat Leicester 3-1 win at the Emirates.
Arsenal started off the game slowly as Leicester dominated most of the first half, forcing an error by Bellerin to register an own goal and the first goal of the game. The Gunners came back to score at the end of the half through a fine Mesut Ozil side foot.
They carried on the momentum in the second half by firing 2 goals in succession, scored by Aubameyang with Ozil expertly involved in the build up for both of the goals.
Arsenal returned to Premier League action from an extended Interlull break to play a Leicester City side who were sitting in mid-table with 4 wins and 4 draws.
The Gunners had an injury scare at left back as both Monreal and Kolasinac were rested due to tight hamstrings. Veteran defender Lichtsteiner stepped in on the left side of defence while youngster Zech Medley made the bench for the first time. Further upfield, Ozil returned in his preferred no.10 position and captained the side.
Arsenal started the game in control, calmly stroking the ball out of the back while pushing the full backs up high. However, they were in for a rude reminder of their opponent’s pace and intensity as the speedy duo of Vardy and Iheanacho countered in the second minute with only the 2 centre backs defending. Fortunately, Holding was in place to make a crucial block. Iheanacho showed his prowess again with a teasing shot in the fifth minute that was palmed wide by Leno.
Holding then had a shaky few minutes as he gained a yellow card just before handling the ball in the box. Arsenal were lucky that the referee did not take notice of the hand ball and waved off Leicester’s calls for a penalty.
Lacazette switched off for a moment as he played Maguire onside while defending a free kick. The Leicester defender ghosted past the defence to meet a header at the far post, only to meet sharp Leno who made a crucial save. As with most games this season, Arsenal have been struggling to find their rhythm in the first half and Leicester could smell blood. Maddison has been influential in midfield while their 2 strikers have looked sharp in exploiting spaces in the Arsenal backline.
Arsenal had their first noteworthy attempt on goal on the 25th minute, with Lacazette lashing his shot wildly from outside the box which floated high above the bar.
Leicester made their dominance count in the 30th minute with the first goal of the game. Chilwell found acres of space on the wing as Ndidi slipped a ball in to him. He skipped past Bellerin and took a shot that deflected off the Spaniard, wrong footing Leno and finding its way into the back of the net. (0-1)
Arsenal responded with a flurry of attacks which eventually resulted in a free kick just outside the box. Xhaka’s looping effort was well saved by Schmeichel as the Gunners continued to pile on the pressure in search for an equalizer.
An excellent exchange by Arsenal started with Bellerin dispossessing Leicester deep in our box before a series of quick one touch passes by Torreira, Mkhitaryan, Lacazette and Ozil found Iwobi lurking just outside the penalty box. The Nigerian, who has been bright in the first half, shot right at the ‘keeper as the team chased a goal.
All that pressure on the Leicester box finally bore some fruit as Arsenal equalized just before the break. Ozil drove forward with the ball and passed it to Bellerin on the right who cut back the ball for the on-rushing German playmaker to side foot the ball calmly into the bottom corner. (1-1)
The half time whistle came too soon as Arsenal were developing good momentum to wrestle back the lead.
Arsenal came out flying in search of the winner in the second half. The first five minutes hosted a few half chances for the Gunners. Bellerin’s darting run into the box almost produced a thumping header as the ball flashed wide while Mkhitaryan missed a couple of opportunities with volleyed attempts in the box.
Leicester threatened in the 57th minute with a header that hit the post from a corner attempt. Arsenal had to be reminded to not allow the Foxes back into the game with a lapse in concentration while dominating possession.
On the 60th minute, Emery lined up a double substitution as Aubameyang and Guendouzi came on for Mkhitaryan and Lichtsteiner – the latter of whom never looked comfortable on the left.
Right on cue, Aubameyang did what he does best and scored to put Arsenal in the lead. It was all about Ozil’s “pre-assist” pass which cut through the Leicester defence to find Bellerin down the right. Bellerin’s cut back found Aubameyang who pounced on the ball for an easy tap in. (2-1)
Arsenal immediately turned on the after burners with a sensational team goal which again saw Ozil play a central role in its creation. Bellerin broke down the right who passed to Ozil. The German played a dummy and left the ball for Lacazette who put a through ball in for Ozil who made a run in the box. The German deftly laid the ball off with the outside of his foot, just inches away from a charging Schemeichel, for Aubameyang who was in space to tap in another goal. (3-1)
It should have been another tap in, this time for Lacazette. Iwobi and Ozil exchanged passes around the box for the latter to square a pass to the Frenchman. Unfortunately, Schemeichel was there to smother the ball before conceding a goal.
That was Ozil’s last involvement in the game as he was subbed off for Ramsey in the 78th minute to a rousing ovation. A decisive captain’s performance from the left footed genius.
Arsenal continued turning the screw with a miss by Lacazette. Guendouzi spread the play out to Iwobi on the right who cut back for Lacazette who could only clip the ball over the bar with his shot.
In the end, a good second half more than made up for a lacklustre first 45 minutes, but you can’t argue too much with ten wins in a row.
In our attempts to figure out why the site slows down on match-days, we’re leaving the comments closed on the report for about 15-20 minutes, and then they’ll be open as normal.
Apologies for the inconvenience but it’s part of our testing process.