Sergio Aguero shot gets knocked over as Leicester City’s performance proves them to be Arsenal’s worst nightmare

Unai Emery, Arsenal’s manager, was relieved by a two-goal lead, helped by Marcos Alonso’s long range strike, over the ill-tempered EPL ) leaders at the King Power Stadium. Arsenal’s status on third and the…

Sergio Aguero shot gets knocked over as Leicester City’s performance proves them to be Arsenal’s worst nightmare

Unai Emery, Arsenal’s

manager, was relieved by a

two-goal lead, helped by Marcos Alonso’s

long range strike, over the ill-tempered

EPL

) leaders at the King Power

Stadium. Arsenal’s status on

third and the prospect of

not only qualifying for the Champions

League but then moving back

up to third, where it spent much of the

campaign, was under scrutiny after

a dramatic reverse in the

last round of fixtures at home to

Manchester United. Arsenal would

have moved above Spurs and only

behind Chelsea by virtue of a better

goals difference but, after a woeful

display against United, that

could well be the case before

tomorrow’s return fixture,

following the required 10 days.

Arsenal’s

defence, headed by Shkodran Mustafi and

centred around Laurent Koscielny,

also required solving

after defender Rob Holding was

sent off for a second yellow in

the 70th minute, much to the

needlessly aggrieved delight of City

nursery. Although Arsenal

only had little in the way of

attacks, those they did have

seemed to have the effect of

forcing Leicester, without

Barry Robson and Claudio Ranieri,

on the back foot. Lee Grant, Arsenal’s

third keeper of the game, denied

Noah Smith on the counter but,

when Lyon-bound Arsenal

substitute Danny Welbeck did

get on the end of an Alonso flick,

Grant matched the speed of the

forward’s goalmouth movement

and blocked the shot.

The build-up to the goal was

beautifully tidy and anticipated

by Arsenal, who had worked

such wonders in keeping the

opponents off the board

in their 2-1 home win last

time out. Arsenal, who

introduced youngster Toni

Oxlade-Chamberlain in place of

Addison Wilshere, did not do

much more with the ball

but it made a significant impression

on Pearce, an Arsenal

fan growing up, after flying through

the central midfield.

A corner saw City’s Pablo

Zabaleta attempt a header but

Oxlade-Chamberlain outjumped him

and headed the ball

straight to Alonso, who had

taken it on the run. Arriving

with 10 minutes remaining,

Alonso, the only player who had

made a league start for

Arsenal so far this season,

converted neatly from 12 yards.

The only complaint was that

Arsenal, while packing the

area to meet a lofted ball into

the box, had shown little

consistency as they were of

deterrent note when forced

into corners. In the first

half they played on the back

foot for as long as

opponents could contain

them, waiting for space to

be exploited. That was

how Silva set up Welbeck’s

equaliser in the second minute.

The Argentinian set up Leroy

Sane in the penalty area for

what should have been a

fine finish, but in trying to

find his team mate the ball

was not dealt with properly by

Oxlade-Chamberlain.

City controlled possession

for long periods of the first

half but failed to create

much. Eric Dier was off

target with a header in the

61st minute and

levelled nine minutes later

when he intercepted a pass

and fired past Grant from

the edge of the box.

Goalscorer Dier has an

outstanding record in the

league, with only five league

goals, but his display has

become a lasting source of

enjoyment for Arsenal fans.

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