Determined Arsenal beat Leicester 3-1

Arteta

Arsenal delivered a hammer blow to Leicester’s faint hopes of winning the Premier League with an impressive fightback to win 3-1 on Sunday.

Mikel Arteta’s side fell behind to Youri Tielemans’ early goal at the King Power Stadium.

They had lost nine of 11 league games when they conceded the opening goal this term.

But David Luiz equalised and Alexandre Lacazette’s penalty gave the Gunners the lead just before half-time.

Nicolas Pepe’s second half goal sealed Arsenal’s second win in their last six league games.

The north Londoners’ stirring escape act left Leicester in third place, trailing leaders Manchester City by 13 points with 12 games remaining.

After Thursday’s shock Europa League exit against Slavia Prague, it was a week to forget for Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers.

Arsenal have virtually no chance of finishing in the top four, but this was still a significant result as it underlined the potential in Arteta’s team.

With Arsenal languishing in mid-table, Arteta has prioritised winning the Europa League as his side’s only hope of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Having picked his best team for the dramatic come-from-behind 3-2 win against Benfica in the last 32 second leg on Thursday, Arteta made six changes.

He left Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka on the bench after the long trip back from the neutral venue in Greece.

Arsenal’s reshuffled line-up initially lacked cohesion and Leicester took advantage to open the scoring in the seventh minute.

Tielemans was gifted time and space by the lumbering Granit Xhaka to break into the Arsenal area.

Pablo Mari was slow to react to the danger, allowing the Belgian midfielder to advance unchecked before drilling a low strike into the far corner.

Arteta’s men thought they had earned a penalty when referee Paul Tierney pointed to the spot after Pepe’s run was ended by a combined challenge from Tielemans and Wilfred Ndidi.

But VAR checked the incident and changed the decision to a free-kick as Ndidi made the first contact with Pepe just outside the area. Punch

 

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