Arsenal earned a hard-fought three points against Leicester City as they continued to push for a top four finish.
Arsenal stuck with a 3-4-3 formation but made four changes. Kieran Gibbs, Hector Bellerin, Francis Coquelin and Theo Walcott returned to the starting line-up. Leicester City made one change with Danny Drinkwater replacing Andy King in midfield.
Leicester started the match brightly and could have been 1-0 up within the first ten minutes. Following a Leicester free-kick, Jamie Vardy pounced on a loose backheel from Alexis Sanchez but could only curl his effort into the side netting. An early let off for Arsenal.
As usual, Arsenal were dominating possession but there was a distinct lack of attacking threat. Francis Coquelin could have had his first Arsenal goal but Schmeichel was equal to it. Leicester continued to press forward and Petr Cech reacted quickly to tip Riyad Mahrez’s close-range volley over.
Theo Walcott nearly gave Arsenal the lead after he beat two players and struck from close-range but once again Schmeichel kept it out.
Mahrez continued to trouble the Arsenal defence. He eased past Gabriel and Laurent Koscielny but fired a low shot into the side netting.
Just before half-time, Sanchez’s thunderous strike rattled the crossbar but the sides went in goalless at the break.
The second half got underway as both sides looked to get on the scoresheet. Wilfred Ndidi had a chance for Leicester but Cech made an easy save. Hector Bellerin found Sanchez but Robert Huth arrived in the nick of time with a vital interception.
Both teams continued to create opportunities but were unable to make the breakthrough. Arsenal made an attacking change in the 68th minute as Danny Welbeck came on for Kieran Gibbs. Leicester responded immediately by bringing on Shinji Okazaki in place of Leonardo Ulloa.
With 16 minutes remaining Arsenal made their final changes. Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud replaced Francis Coquelin and Theo Walcott.
As the clock ticked down it seemed both teams would have to settle for a point apiece. That was until the 86th minute. Monreal’s shot was deflected in off Robert Huth to give Arsenal a crucial three points.
Demarai Gray came on for Yohan Benalouane as Leicester tried to respond but it was too little too late. Back to back wins in the Premier League for Arsenal will give them much needed confidence going into the North London derby at the weekend. It was a tough defeat for Leicester to take but they have their own difficult match against West Bromwich Albion to prepare for.
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