I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous going into this one. Our patchy form compared to that of our hosts and handling a striker that just loves scoring against us meant I thought we’d have a testing 90 minutes in against the Foxes.
Mikel Arteta said midweek that he’d rotate and he did just that making 6 changes from the team that overcame Benfica in Athens. It certainly wasn’t a first 11 with Saka and Aubameyang being notable absentees but there was still plenty of quality in the line up.
We got off the worst possible start, conceding after just 6 minutes. The defending was shambolic at best with Mari seemingly unsure of where he was supposed to be. Tielemans was allowed all the way into the box and fired across Leno. 1-0 Leicester, bollocks. It looked like it could be a long day.
However, after that, it was all Arsenal. We picked ourselves up and took the game to a clearly tired Leicester team. We were awarded a penalty but VAR of course got involved and it was deemed correctly to be just outside the box. But our work particularly down the right was rewarded 6 minutes before the half. Now anyone that knows me will be aware of my opinion on Willian and his performances this season but in this game he finally stepped up. He swung a free kick into the box and David Luiz powered a brave header into the corner. Back on level terms. Minutes later we were ahead after a VAR review of a blatant handball in the box. Lacazette fired the spot kick into the corner and we went in 2-1 up at the break.
As the second half began we resumed our dominance and it was 3-1 after 52 minutes. A brilliant team goal that started in our own half saw Pepe carry the ball forward before squaring it to Martin Ødegaard who somehow flicked the ball through to Willian. The Brazilian pulled it back for Pepe who tapped into an empty net from a yard out. 3-1 up and firmly in control.
The remainder of the half turned into a keep ball exercise for us as we drained the life out of a ragged Leicester team. Aubameyang maybe should have added a fourth after coming on but in the end it didn’t matter.
An excellent performance from every man on the pitch and a massive 3 points from what looked to be a tricky fixture on paper. A big performance to build on but there is no let up as we look ahead to Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday.