An own goal from Christian Fuchs and a late strike from Eddie Nketiah helped Arsenal churn out a 2-0 Carabao Cup victory over Leicester City.
Arsenal maintained their bright start to the campaign by sealing a 2-0 win over Leicester City in the third round of the Carabao Cup.
Following a hard-fought win over West Ham United, manager Mikel Arteta had made a plethora of changes to his team, giving some of the youngsters an opportunity to shine.
However, the Gunners lacked the precision and the incisiveness to trouble the Leicester City defence and were even lucky to not concede a goal, as James Maddison’s effort hit the woodwork. The first half ended goalless but Arsenal were eventually rewarded for their improved second half display as Christian Fuchs scored an unfortunate own goal just before the hour mark.
Mikel Arteta has not been knocked out of a domestic cup competition since becoming Arsenal manager.
Lincoln or Liverpool await in the next round. ⏳ pic.twitter.com/zXmyanjDIl
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 23, 2020
The north London giants pushed for a second, with Leicester now lacking intent to find an equaliser. However, it wasn’t until the final minutes of the game when Arsenal found the second as Eddie Nketiah’s wrestled the defenders to somehow tap the ball in the back of the net, effectively sealing the win.
And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Arsenal players in their comfortable 2-0 victory over the Foxes on Wednesday.
Bernd Leno: 6.5/10
Bernd Leno made an important early save to deny Kelechi Iheanacho from scoring the opener. But, he was lucky with the Maddison effort as it hit the post and dropped straight back into his hands. Aside from that, Leicester City barely managed to test Leno in goal, especially in the second half.
Rob Holding: 7/10
Rob Holding started the game in a rather rusty fashion but eventually setlted himself in defence as the game progressed. His remarkable commitment, physical prowess and incredible heading ability made it very difficult for the likes of Kelechi Iheanacho and Demarai Gray to cause any problems to the Arsenal backline.
David Luiz: 7/10
Returning to the starting lineup following a brief injury spell, David Luiz showed exactly what he is capable of. He marshalled the Arsenal backline, looked fearless in going into challenges and was barely troubled when dealing with the Leicester City defence. It will be interesting to see if he gets a start in the next game.
Sead Kolasinac: 5/10
Sead Kolasinac failed to provide the quality one would usually expect from Kieran Tierney in that left-sided central defensive role. The Bosnian international struggles when it comes to moving the ball forward from the back, particularly due to his weak right foot that forces him to often take an extra touch. He should be dropped in the next match.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles: 6.5/10
Ainsley Maitland-Niles had a relatively quiet evening when compared to his teammates. The Englishman spent most of his outing providing defensive support to Holding as Arsenal employed a left-sided overload.
Mohamed Elneny: 7/10
Mohamed Elneny’s remarkable stamina and a willingness to close down the midfielders was certainly commendable. The Egyptian was also a secure passing outlet in midfield, completing the ninety minutes without any real hiccups. He is definitely turning out to be a reliable option for Mikel Arteta.
Joe Willock: 6.5/10
Joe Willock had a mixed outing in central midfield. The youngster was lacking invention for large parts of the game and one can argue that Mesut Ozil may have been a better option. He did spark some brilliance in the last five minutes before his substitution, though.
Bukayo Saka: 8/10
Bukayo Saka was by far the best performer for Arsenal in this fixture. The Englishman, despite starting at left wing-back, was the club’s primary source of creativity as he often dropped infield and tried to create opportunities through link-up play with his teammates. Saka also shifted wide at times to provide crosses into the box. A prime talent.
Nicolas Pepe: 6/10
Nicolas Pepe had yet another disappointing outing as his quick feet did very little damage to the Leicester City backline. He was willing to take on the defenders, but was lacking any quality or penetration. However, the Ivorian did well to force Fuchs into scoring the own goal.
Eddie Nketiah: 7/10
Eddie Nketiah had a solid game in the number nine role. His pace and willingness to find that little bit of opening forced the Leicester City defenders to remain cautious throughout the game. His link-up play with Saka was also excellent and the youngster was eventually rewarded for his efforts with a late goal.
Reiss Nelson: 6/10
Much like Pepe, Reiss Nelson lacked the end product to complement his willingness to make something happen in the final third. Although the attacker’s excellent connection with Saka did cause Leicester problems, he certainly needs some game-time to further hone his skills and yet another loan move might be the best option for him at the moment.
Came on Pepe during the final phase of the game but struggled to influence the game. Joined Nketiah in the first line of press.
Dani Ceballos: 5/10
Installed himself as the hub of the midfield for the final 15 minutes.
Hector Bellerin: 7.5/10
Hector Bellerin made a quick impact after replacing Saka late in the game. After all, it was his amazing run that led to Nketiah’s goal, with the Spaniard notably getting the better of two defenders while showcasing excellent pace and movement.