As It Stands
A resurgent Leicester team challenged the Gunners for long periods today, however the Gunners had two unlikely stars:
1/ Monreal followed up his recent goal with another after 85 minutes. The goal, however, won’t be credited to him since it was going wide and only found the net due to a huge deflection off Leicester’s Huth. That being the case, Arsenal still owe the Spaniard a debt for his confidence that led to their victory.
2/ Alexis. Notice the image assigned to this blog? After 92 minutes, the Arsenal made a bizarre play for Oscar nomination. After spending time trying to obstruct a Leicester throw(apparently legally), the throw struck Alexis on the shoulder, he turned to see if everyone was watching, then threw himself to the ground clutching his face. He was unsurprisingly booked for the dive. He followed this up shortly afterwards by shoulder barging a Leicester opponent from behind, and, again fell clutching his face! Well, Alexis won’t get an Oscar for those performances but he at least got the attention of the referee!
Leicester continued their revival under Shakespeare. They not only threatened but looked solid in defence. They deserved a point but even though that didn’t happen, they look like a brighter future awaits than it was under Ranieri in recent times. It took only an unavoidable error in the last 5 minutes of normal time for their defence to be compromised, and they should be proud of their efforts.
In truth, this game was a good test for Arsenal’s mental strength considering their recent fragility. They spent some time with the new back 3 formation before returning to the back 4 of previous times. Having passed this test, Arsenal should have sufficient confidence for the weekends bigger test.
Wenger how has a highly respectable win ratio of 59.57%, 28 from 47 games in charge. In the EPL his season stands at 18 wins from 32 games(56.25%). It’s good to remember that these percentages are superior to last year when Arsenal finished 2nd.