Result: Leicester City 0 – 2 Arsenal
Competition: Premier League
Date: 30 October 2021
Venue: King Power Stadium
Arsenal: Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tavares, Partey, Lokonga, Smith Rowe, Saka, Lacazette, Aubameyang
Subs: Leno, Holding, Cedric, Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Pepe, Odegaard, Martinelli
Arsenal blitzed past Leicester in the first half to win 0-2 at the King Power Stadium. Their high octane approach produced 2 first half goals for Gabriel and Smith Rowe.
The Gunners had to show their defensive mettle in the second half as they repelled an aggressive Leicester attack with Ramsdale the standout performer at the back. Overall, Arsenal deserved all 3 points to climb the league table and pull away from a congested pack looking to earn a European spot.
Arsenal stepped into the King Power Stadium against Leicester in great form having gone 8 games unbeaten and dominated in their last league game against Aston Villa.
Looking to carry on their high energy performance from the Villa game, Arteta deployed the same 4-4-2 lineup against their challengers for a European spot.
Arsenal wanted to prove that Aston Villa was not a fluke and they showed it from the first minute. Aubameyang and Lacazette set the tone, pushing their teammates to press high up and pin the home side back.
Their high octane approach almost bore fruit in the first minute as Saka and Lacazette combined for a scruffy effort on goal. The effort deflected off an unsuspecting Amartey towards his goal, only for Schmeichel to save it on the line.
Arsenal’s pressure paid off on the 5th minute mark with their second successive corner. Saka floated in an inswinging corner from the right to find Gabriel who glanced in the ball to give Arsenal the advantage. 0-1 Arsenal
The home side really found it a challenge to contain this Arsenal team whose movement was fluent in the classic 4-4-2, reminiscent of Arsene Wenger’s best sides.
Lacazette dropped in to knit play, Sambi and Partey produced solid striking efforts from distance and Tavares brought his chaotic energy as he dribbled in-field from left back.
It was this pressing and movement that won them their second goal on 17 minutes. Vardy lost the ball cheaply under pressure and Partey started the counter attack. The Ghanaian pinged the ball to Saka on the right who squared it for Lacazette at the edge of the box.
Lacazette was crowded out but Leicester couldn’t clear the ball far enough. Smith Rowe swooped in and applied a first time finish from the penalty spot that would have left a peak Robert Pires proud. 0-2 Arsenal
The rest of the half saw Arsenal contain Leicester expertly and threatened the home side on the break. Arsenal was never truly under the cosh but Ramsdale had to be alert to keep his teammates late in the half.
Maddison had a free kick right through the middle with a favourable distance from the penalty box. He struck the ball sweetly to the right and the curled effort looked to be nestling into the net if not for Ramsdale’s quick feet and atleticism. The ‘keeper tipped the ball against the bar and smothered the follow up. The ball still trickled towards the goal line and Partey came to the rescue to clear the ball away. Watch the outstanding Ramsdale save here
Their defensive efforts kept Arsenal two goals ahead at the King Power at half time – fully deserved.
Leicester sought to claw their way back into the game, bringing on 2 substitutes and attacking Arsenal. To Arsenal’s credit, they were composed when facing pressure and nipped in well to regain possession.
Arsenal had to defend deeper and it wasn’t all smooth sailing as Leicester’s Thomas had an effort just skim past the post. The home side’s momentum was growing.
Odegaard came on for a tiring Lacazette on the 56th minute to arrest and maintain possession but it didn’t relieve the Leicester pressure. Arsenal had Ramsdale to thank as he pulled off saves to keep the score at 0-2.
Despite some nervy moments as Leicester pushed on, Arsenal showed newfound defensive strength to repel the home side, clearing every cross and blocking every speculative shot from the Foxes. To add insult to injury, even Kolasinac made an appearance in place for Smith Rowe.
A well earned three points and a clean sheet.