Arsenal's victory against Premier League leaders Leicester was a potential tipping point in the title race, blowing it wide open for any of the top four to possibly go on to win the Premier League this term. The Gunners put in a performance which dug deep to beat an in-form and spirited travelling Leicester side, but what can the north Londoners take away from the result - besides the all-important three points?
Performing under pressure
One thing regularly asked of Arsenal, is whether they can win matches when the pressure is really on them to get the result. Emphatically answered against Olympiacos in the Champions League, winning by the requsite 3-0 to ensure qualification to the last-16, Arsenal once again proved that they can cope with the pressure, forcing a win against a good Leicester side.
Had Arsenal lost this game, they would have been eight points adrift of Leicester - and their title ambitions would've essentially been in tatters. Going into the half-time interval with a one-goal deficit compounded the pressure on Sunday's hosts, turning this hypothetical scenario into a reality. But with determination and a stroke of fortune as Danny Simpson was sent off after two bookings in quick succession, the Gunners were able to take the game by the scruff of the neck and produce a second-half display worthy of all three points. In any other season it would have not been surprising to see Arsenal buckle under the pressure of potentially having their title challenge ruined, but this time around they steamed on, and proved they are serious contenders this season yet again.
Petr Cech is magic
It has long been recognised that Petr Cech has been instrumental in Arsenal's campaign this season, keping the most clean sheets of any goalkeeper in the League this season with 12, and the second most saves of any goalkeeper with 86, just behind Jack Butland on 88. Petr Cech's importance has been far from understated, and once again he was in fine form against Leicester.
The 33-year-old was on hand to produce fine saves on a number of important occasions to prevent Leicester taking the lead early in the first-half, including a brilliant save to prevent Jamie Vardy from close-range. There was little the Czech international could do to prevent the penalty and Leicester taking the lead, but in the second-half, when Arsenal began to pressure Leicester, the confidence surrounding Cech was key to Arsenal's performance.
Petr Cech consistently proves he is a world-class goalkeeper and this translates to his defence, who know full well they have one of the best goalkeepers in the league behind them. The confidence, he not only exudes in commanding his box, but the confidence Cech gives to his backline, means the defenders are not afraid to push on and provide more attacking options safe in the knowledge that Petr Cech is more than capable of dealing with most any shots he faces.
Squad depth shone through
The game against Leicester was a surprising opportunity for players not usually first on the team sheet to show exactly what they were capable of, and give Arséne Wenger some headaches over player selections, especially with an FA Cup replay against Hull and the Champions League games against Barcelona coming up.
Calum Chambers, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck all put in goood showings with differing and dramatic consequences. Chambers was brought into the game due to Laurent Koscielny suffering from a dead leg, and when he came on the pitch he played with the same confidence he has earlier on in the season, showing real development in his game. Oxlade-Chamberlain was the only one of the three to begin the game and showed strengths both wide and in the the centre of the park, however when tactics needed changing and fresh legs were brought on, The Ox was sacrificed for Danny Welbeck, and we all remember how that turned out.
Danny Welbeck is like a new signing
Danny Welbeck's return to the Arseanl first-team since April 2015 proved to be an emphatic, dramatic moment in the game. Not only did the England international secure all 3 points for the Arsenal but he provided a completely different attacking and tactical option, one which could prove handy again in upcoming games.
Welbeck was brought on in place of Oxlade-Chamberlain and told to play in the middle, seemingly in-front of Mesut Özil essentially as a second striker to support Olivier Giroud in the box. In this position Welbeck split the defensive duties of the Leicester centre-backs and created several opportunites for himself and his teammates, with Giroud nearly putting the ball in the back of the net, were it not for a remarkable reaction save fro Kasper Schmeichel.
Welbeck's introduction as a second striker was something refreshing and had not been seen at Arsenal all season, with the formation only accommodating only one striker. This change of formation and reinvention of the style for the last few minutes proved vital to the game, and should clearly be something called upon in later games, with the Gunners' title bid now reinvigorated.
This year's campaign - the most open title race in a while
Thanks to Danny Welbeck and his last-minute header, the title race is now a race between four teams, with seemingly no obvious conclusion in sight. Arsenal could win the title for the first time in over ten years, whilst local rivals Tottenham have proven themselves one of the toughest and most prepared teams in the Premier League, sitting above Arsenal, thanks to their superior goal difference. The story of the season however is still Leicester City, who had their lead at the top of the table reduced to two points courtesy of a dramatic home victory.
This Arsenal win has all but secured a nail-biting, tense and unpredictable end to the season with Manchester City also in contention to take the title. Many are stating the title is Arsenal's best chance at the trophy for the next few years, with the impending arrival of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, Chelsea looking much better than at the start of the season, and a presumed changing of the guard at Manchester United next season, seemingly implying Arsenal will never get a clearer opportunity win the Premier League.
Thanks to Danny Welbeck, that dream is still alive, but don't be surprised to see more twists and turns in this tale, with it likely being settled closer to the final day than any other time soon.