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Premier League

  • February 11, 2015
  • • 03:45
  • • Emirates Stadium, London
  • Referee: M. Jones
  • • Attendance: 60032
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Arsenal 2-1 Leicester City: Walcott on target for below-par Gunners

Arsenal 2-1 Leicester City: Walcott on target for below-par Gunners

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Arsene Wenger's men saw off a resilient Foxes side in north London, with the England international and Laurent Koscielny both on the scoresheet in a battling win

Goals from Laurent Koscielny and Theo Walcott gave Arsenal a narrow 2-1 win over a battling Leicester City side at the Emirates on Tuesday.

VIEW FROM EMIRATES STADIUM
By Greg Stobart

It was ugly, it was unconvincing, but ultimately all that mattered for Arsenal was that they won the three points just three days after a listless north London derby defeat.

Arsene Wenger’s side were off the pace for much of the game but in Mesut Ozil, their record signing, they had a player with the quality to open up the Leicester defence as the £42.5m man provided assists for both of the Gunners goals.

Laurent Koscielny tapped in the first, then Theo Walcott rifled in the second - and it looked like Arsenal were home and dry by half-time despite the occasional threat posed by the visitors when they ventured forward.

But in the second-half the Gunners were outplayed by their bottom-of-the-table visitors and they were lucky that Andrej Kramaric was twice denied by David Ospina when he had chances to score his second goal of the match.

Wenger has fresh injury problems to worry about - what a surprise - after Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey were forced off - but for now he will be happy to see his side back in the top four, if only for the next 24 hours.
Despite Leicester starting promisingly, Arsenal led just short of the half-hour mark, as Koscielny was afforded too much space from a corner and was allowed to slot home his third goal of the season.

Walcott - one of three Arsenal changes from their north London derby defeat to Tottenham - made it two before the break as he seized on Mark Schwarzer's parry before Kramaric gave the visitors brief hope.

However, Arsene Wenger's men were not to be denied a return to winning ways as they moved back into the top four, while Leicester's loss was made worse by victories for fellow strugglers Hull City and QPR.

Leicester began well with Riyad Mahrez their bright spark early on. The Algerian proved a menace for both Nacho Monreal and Hector Bellerin before Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla began to pull the strings for Arsenal, allowing the hosts to gain a foothold in the game.

Wenger’s men got their reward courtesy of Koscielny, as the France international lost marker Wes Morgan with ease and finished Ozil's corner.

Koscielny’s defensive partner, Per Mertesacker, was then required to clear a dangerous cross from Paul Konchesky eight minutes before the interval with Pearson’s side again demonstrating some attacking threat of their own.

However, despite their forward promise, Leicester were again let down by a defensive mishap four minutes before the break when Schwarzer parried Ozil's strike into the path of Walcott, who made no mistake with the follow-up.

Leicester again looked lively going forward early in the second half and they were rewarded when some sloppy Arsenal defending allowed Mahrez to cross for Kramaric, who fired home his first goal since moving from Rijeka.

Wenger opted to replace Alexis Sanchez with Olivier Giroud following the goal and, with the visitors given renewed hope, Mahrez soon curled an effort marginally wide before Pearson introduced Leonardo Ulloa up front.

While Ulloa's presence made an impact, it proved too little, too late for Nigel Pearson and Leicester.

Meanwhile, Wenger's main frustration, other than a nervy second-half display, will be an apparent injury suffered by Aaron Ramsey - who lasted just nine minutes after coming off the bench.


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