Arsenal 2-0 Leicester: Partey and Lacazette propel Gunners to victory
Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Mikel Arteta's side cruised to victory thanks to goals from Thomas Partey and Alexandre Lacazette, reinstating them as favourites for fourth place as we reach the climax of the season. 

Leicester City's poor record of defending corners was tested early and punished within 11 minutes of play at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal's February Player of the Month Thomas Partey headed home Gabriel Martinelli's corner with ease, wheeling away to celebrate with the North Bank. The record continues to worsen for the Foxes, making it 12 corners conceded this season alone. 

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Image
Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

 

The Ghanaian came close to making it two, his curling effort striking the crossbar after Granit Xhaka couldn't steer it in. Spectacular defending by Ben White ensured that former Arsenal target James Maddison wasn't able to be presented with a goalscoring opportunity to level the game. But it was Aaron Ramsdale with the highlight of the half, denying Harvey Barnes' close-range header with one arm, much to the amazement of Leicester's manager Brendan Rodgers

Martin Ødegaard continued to impress throughout the remainder of the half, picking out Alexandre Lacazette and Gabriel Martinelli on many occasions. 

The Gunners continued to dominate following the interval. Lacazette and Martinelli combined to create the first opportunity of the second half but the Frenchman was unable to convert. 

Arsenal thought that they were two to the good after a plethora of chances, but Kasper Schmeichel made a crucial save to prevent Ødegaard from the important second goal.

VAR was brought into action though as Thomas Partey's follow-on seemed to quite clearly hit Caglar Söyüncü on the hand. Referee Anthony Taylor took a look into the monitor and without a doubt pointed to the penalty spot.

There was even more controversy when Taylor awarded a yellow card preferred to a red, as Söyüncü was seen to handle the ball in the penalty area preventing a clear and obvious goal-scoring opportunity. 

It was Lacazette who stood up to take the penalty and placed it top left, beating Schmeichel who dived the same way but couldn't quite get his hands to it. 

Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images
Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

 

Aaron Ramsdale and the Arsenal defensive unit did well to keep out Kelechi Iheanacho from creating any unnecessary opportunities. His poor afternoon ended prematurely as he was booed off and replaced by Patson Daka

The Gunners' top scorer Emile Smith Rowe was handed 15 minutes of game time since his return from COVID-19, replacing Gabriel Martinelli

Cheers serenaded the Emirates Stadium for not the first time this season, as Arsenal swiftly passed around the midfield with no pressure from a deflated Leicester side. 

Every attacker wanted to be on the field towards the end of the game, with the crowd delighted when Nicolas Pepe was introduced for a 5 minute-cameo in place of Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah for Lacazette. Both of the players received standing ovations from the crowd who were more than pleased with the effort put in. 

What next?

More cheers and singing could be heard as Taylor blew the full time whistle. Arsenal now have a more difficult challenge in second place Liverpool who will face them in three days time. As for Leicester, their priority is the UEFA Conference League clash with Rennes in France on Thursday, who are 2-0 up on aggregate. 

 

 

VAVEL Logo