Arsenal welcomed Leicester City at Emirates in a crunch Premier League clash which offered a lot of excitement on a Sunday afternoon.
Two moments defined the entire 90 minutes as Arsenal over-turned the 1-0 deficit to earn an impressive 2-1 win over Claudio Ranieri’s ten men on the pitch through Danny Welbeck, who came on in the closing stages of the game and scored his first goal after ten months of injury lay-off.
As Arsenal managed to close the gap behind the league leaders to only two points, we take a look at five defining moments of today’s match:
Arsenal too nervous
The Gunners entered the game feeling anxious and under a lot of pressure to deliver and earn the much needed win.
Gabriel Paulista’s late injury forced Wenger to put Per Mertesacker in the centre of the defence line, but the German defender played a smart game and even got in an opportunity to score a goal for his team in the second half.
Always a step behind Vardy, Mertesacker was well aware of his lack of pace and used his intelligence to halt the fantastic Leicester striker.
However, Arsenal were overwhelmed by pressure which left them unable to get their feet on the ground in the first half of the game, as Arsenal failed to put Schmeichel’s goal under threat at any point during the first 45 minutes.
On the other hand, Leicester City played their game, putting a lot of pressure through Jamie Vardy in the first place.
Jamie Vardy was once again on top of his game.
The England international played a good match for Leicester City versus Arsenal. The 29-year-old striker was hard to manage and he put a lot of pressure to Arsenal’s backline.
Vardy was directly involved in getting his team up front at the end of the first half, as Monreal fouled him in the penalty box for a late kick from the white spot, which defined the entire game.
Martin Atkinson was perhaps to rash to blow the whistle, but Vardy’s quick pace made it almost impossible for the referee not to call the penalty.
Vardy’s shot was a success and it was his 19th goal of the season. Leicester striker has been involved in 31 of Foxes’ 39 goals this season, which only proves his importance to this team.
Invisible Ozil, Unrecognizable Sanchez
Leicester City players knew that if they were to beat Arsenal, they had to stop Mesut Ozil.
And that was exactly what they did on Sunday. The German genius was nowhere near to his usual self as he failed to make an impression in the game. Closely watched and tightly marked, Mesut Ozil did little to help his team do anything worth mentioning in the first half.
However, he did manage to grab an assist to improve his overall poor performance, perhaps the weakest this season.
The situation changed in the second term, but not for Mesut Ozil, who was ridiculed for his lack of concentration when the entire stadium signalled him to watch his back, before the German lost a ball to Leicester City.
Alexis Sanchez as another key man for Wenger’s team was also out of the game completely.
The Chilean showed lack of composure in front of goal as his three different efforts were misfired and unworthy of a professional football player. The injury took the better of him as Sanchez lacked his recognizable confidence and self-awareness.
Simpson’s red card changed the course of the game
Call it lack of experience, call it breaking down under pressure, call it whatever you like, but Simpson’s reckless move saw the game take a U-turn for the worse when it comes to Leicester.
Danny Simpson was first booked after four minutes inside the second half, but his unbelievably reckless start only five minutes later made Atkinson award him the red card.
Leicester City were left with a man down, which allowed Arsenal to take matters into their own hands and break down the exhausted Foxes.
Walcott’s equalizer came from Arsenal’s first shot on target in the match, but Gunners made total of 24 shots until the end of the game with possession of 64% to Leicester’s 36%.
Arsenal created 19 chances and were unfortunate to go against in-form Schmeichel who denied Gunners in a couple of occasions.
Danny the King
Much to the pleasing of Arsenal fans, who saw their team live through a romantic ending of the game, Danny Welbeck made a long awaited return.
For the first time in ten months, the England striker was once again on the pitch and what a better way to thank the fans for the support than to score a 90th-minute winner.
A dramatic finish of the game brought a lot of excitements as Welbeck’s header brought Arsenal a much needed win to cut the gap behind Foxes and disappoint Claudio Ranieri, whose team held pretty well for almost the entire game.
With ten men on the field, Foxes were unable to hold on to the lead and to a draw and their poetic justice was stolen by Welbeck, who stole a win to put his team effectively back into the Premier League title race.
ARSENAL: Cech 6.5 – Bellerin 6.5, Mertesacker 7, Koscielny 6.5 (Chambers 7), Monreal 7.5 – Coquelin 6 (Walcott 7.5), Ramsey 7 – Oxlade-Chamberlain 7 (Welbeck 7.5), Ozil 6.5, Sanchez 6 – Giroud 7.
LEICESTER CITY: Schmeichel 7 – Simpson 5, Morgan 7.5, Huth 7, Fuchs 7 – Mahrez 6.5 (Wasilewski 6.5), Drinkwater 7, Kante 7.5, Albrighton 6.5 (King 6.5) – Okazaki 6 (Gray 6), Vardy 7.
REFEREE: Martin Atkinson