Arsenal cruised to their fifth win in a row as they breezed past Leicester City, with Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard starring at the Emirates.
For the first time in his managerial career, Mikel Arteta won five games in a row as Arsenal dispatched Leicester City at the Emirates. Goals from Thomas Partey and Alexandre Lacazette were enough to collect three very important points as the Gunners reclaimed the fourth spot.
Arsenal have developed a habit of putting on an attacking show of late, and their 21 shots on the evening were proof of their progress in the final third. The home side began on the front foot, as they punished Leicester City from yet another set-piece. Partey found space and time to leap and direct Gabriel Martinelli’s corner beyond Kasper Schmeichel to open the scoring.
Leicester threatened in moments, and their best came around the 35th minute when everyone in the Leicester camp thought Harvey Barnes had equalised. Instead, Aaron Ramsdale made a brilliant save from the winger’s header to keep the lead intact. Brendan Rodgers appreciated the stop as he was the most surprised man at the venue.
Arsenal held their ground and took their narrow lead into the break despite late pressure from the Foxes. The Gunners came out firing in the second half, and later, during a penalty box melee, Caglar Soyuncu seemed to handle the ball after Partey had guided the ball on target. After much deliberation with VAR, referee Anthony Taylor decided to award a penalty to Arsenal.
Arsenal have now kept as many Premier League clean sheets after 26 games this season (12) as they managed during the entire 2020/21 campaign.
It's called the Aaron Ramsdale Effect™️ pic.twitter.com/ZEyOA093Vz
— William Hill (@WilliamHill) March 13, 2022
Alexandre Lacazette, who had not scored in his last nine games, made no mistake from the spot to double Arsenal’s lead. The strike caused protests from Schmeichel, who felt the Frenchman had stopped in his tracks before hitting the ball, although the goal was awarded.
In the end, Arsenal protected their two-goal lead and finished the game with a big win. Ramsdale secured his 12th clean sheet of the season, as the Gunners reclaimed the fourth spot ahead of Manchester United while having three games in hand over their rivals. Here are the player ratings from Arsenal’s 2-0 victory over Leicester City at the Emirates.
Aaron Ramsdale: 7/10
Ramsdale barely had anything to do except collect aerial balls into his safe hands. His distribution was superb again, and the highlight of his day would be that astonishing save he made from Harvey Barnes’s header in the first half.
Cedric Soares: 6/10
Cedric put in a composed performance to keep play ticking on the right-hand side by combining well with Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard in the final third. He may yet look forward to a busy week, with Liverpool and Aston Villa next for Arsenal.
Ben White: 7/10
A terrific last-ditch challenge on James Maddison saved a potential goal, as the Leicester attacker was about to pull the trigger. Otherwise, Ben White had a composed game, with his superb passing and reading of the game.
Gabriel Magalhaes: 5/10
There were some shaky moments for Gabriel once more, and the defender is showing signs of weakness at times. He barely had anything to do in the second half and controlled the backline well.
Kieran Tierney: 7/10
Tierney put in a solid performance without much fuss and rather quietly. He worked hard all game long on both ends of the pitch, although it is clear Arsenal need a good striker with aerial presence to make his crosses useful.
Thomas Partey: 8.5/10
Thomas Partey’s first half by numbers vs. Leicester:
100% duels won
4x possession won
3 duels won
1 chance created
Partey time. 🎉 pic.twitter.com/V3mLY5LMq9
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 13, 2022
Partey dropped another top-notch performance and capped it off with a goal this time. The midfielder was instrumental in many moments, from controlling the midfield to playing key roles in both Arsenal goals. He also hit the post right after he had scored the opener.
Granit Xhaka: 6.5/10
A no-nonsense performance from Xhaka, who is taking to his new role with a different vigour. He barely did anything wrong, and it was his fifth game without a booking, which may surprise a few critics.
Martin Odegaard: 8.5/10
Odegaard is starting to produce masterful, influential performances each week, and now we can say his transfer fee was a bargain. Yet again, the Norwegian was at the heart of every positive move. Arsenal made and proved to be a constant thorn for Leicester’s defence.
5 – Today was the second time this season that Martin Ødegaard has created 5+ chances from open play in a Premier League game, with Bruno Fernandes (4) and Jack Grealish (2) being the only other players to do so on multiple occasions this term. Craft. pic.twitter.com/CK8JZ1by1V
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 13, 2022
Bukayo Saka: 6.5/10
Saka was a menace on the right-hand side, and Luke Thomas could not handle the pressure from him. In hindsight, it was not the winger’s best performance, yet he was so influential from the flank.
Alexandre Lacazette: 8/10
Lacazette battled with Daniel Amartey and Caglar Soyuncu to keep them busy and let the others come into play. After going nine games without scoring, the Frenchman put a penalty past Schmeichel to end the drought.
Alexandre Lacazette has now been directly involved in 10 goals in his last 11 Premier League games:
▪️ 3 goals
▪️ 7 assists
He was involved in one in his first 10 games of the season. 📈 pic.twitter.com/TCoSfOR7tU
— William Hill (@WilliamHill) March 13, 2022
Gabriel Martinelli: 6/10
Martinelli was direct in his approach and caused a few problems for Pereira on his flank. He got the assist for the first goal, as Partey diverted his corner into the net.
Emile Smith Rowe: 6/10
Although Schmeichel saved his effort, Smith Rowe had one great moment inside the box. He floated around trying to create something, although most of the moves were being created on the other side of the pitch.
Nicolas Pepe: 5/10
Pepe replaced Saka and went about with his running as Arsenal looked to run down the clock.
Eddie Nketiah: N/A
Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Kasper Schmeichel: 5/10
Schmeichel may have kept the scoreline as it was, with the goalkeeper making some smart saves along the way. The Leicester captain controlled his area properly and was hardly nervous when handling the ball. He could do nothing about either goal, which were well beyond his reach.
Ricardo Pereira: 5/10
Pereira did well in his battle with Martinelli and Tierney on his flank. There were a few moments when the Brazilian flew past him, but otherwise, the full-back looked reliable.
Daniel Amartey: 4.5/10
Lacazette caused all sorts of problems for Amartey, keeping the Ghanaian busy and away from the wide attackers. This aspect created space in the area the centre-back was supposed to mark, which may have turned out dangerously for the Foxes in some moments.
Leicester City have conceded 14 goals from set-pieces in the Premier League this season, no team has conceded more.
Partey provides a dream start. 🔴⚪️ pic.twitter.com/E2MzZUSPV8
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) March 13, 2022
Caglar Soyuncu: 3/10
The Turkish defender should have been alert with the corner and was static when defending the build-up to the opening goal. Meanwhile, he was lucky to escape a straight red after handling a goal-bound ball, which resulted in a penalty for Arsenal.
Luke Thomas: 3.5/10
Thomas faced one of the formidable attacking combinations of Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and Cedric Soares and unsurprisingly struggled to cope with the pressure.
James Maddison: 5/10
Leicester City’s best creator with two chances on the evening, which was dwarfed by Arsenal’s Odegaard, who made six. After the Foxes compared both players in the build-up, this fact comes into context. On to the game, Maddison should have worked harder to influence the proceedings the way he might have wanted.
Nampalys Mendy: 4/10
A surprise starter, to begin with, the midfielder barely got any control of the game and did not look sharp in the presence of Partey and Granit Xhaka.
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall: 4.5/10
Dewsbury-Hall was one of Leicester’s brightest players in midfield, although his ideas were killed off by the Arsenal defence and the non-responsive nature of his teammates. He certainly represents a good future for Leicester and should remain in the team despite the loss.
Marc Albrighton: 5/10
As usual, Albrighton put in a hard-working display, although there was not much happening in the final third for the Foxes in general. He did put in a great cross towards Barnes, whose effort was subsequently saved by Ramsdale rather brilliantly.
Kelechi Iheanacho: 4/10
A poor performance from a player losing form with each passing game. Some suggested Iheanacho should have been sent off for two similar elbows, but he was booked for only one of those offences. An anonymous display from the Nigerian, who may drop to the bench for the next game.
Harvey Barnes: 6/10
Leicester’s brightest spark on the field, the winger tried his best to attack and create problems for Arsenal. He was denied a probable goal by a brilliant Ramsdale save, which will linger in his thoughts for some time.
James Justin: 4/10
Justin replaced Pereira and had no impact on the game whatsoever.
Wilfred Ndidi: 4/10
Ndidi’s introduction gave a feeling that Rodgers was trying to stop Arsenal from scoring more.
Patson Daka: N/A
He got booked for a needless challenge on Saka and otherwise barely had any impact after coming on.