Arsenal Wel-beck in it

 welbeck lcfc

 

 

A fairy tale equaliser by Welbeck saw Arsenal reaffirm their credentials as title challengers. Despite going one down to a controversial penalty we managed to come up trumps and win against current league leaders Leicester. Goals from two substitutes Walcott and Welbeck, secured the win for us on a memorable day at the Emirates.

 

It was a tense beginning in what was a must win game for the Gunners, the pressure was on us to get the win considering we were placed five points behind our opponents before the beginning of the game. Our intent to win the game was evident as early as the opening minute. An incisive ball by Sanchez put Chamberlain beyond Leicester’s defensive line however the pacey winger was unable to find a team-mate and the initial threat was quelled as Leicester cleared for a corner. Alexis rose highest from the resulting corner but was unable to make clean contact with his head and the ball floated just wide.

 

We continued to look the more threatening team as we dominated possession. Chamberlain had a penalty shout denied on the 10th minute when midfield dynamo Kante appeared to handle the ball in the penalty area. Moments later Ramsey was put through on goal but was denied by Kasper Schmeichel who made a last ditch challenge.

 

 

Despite dominating possession Leicester were still able to demonstrate why they’ve been so successful this season. First Okazaki was played through on goal only to be called back due to offside. The second chance came from their top scorer this season Jamie Vardy; the explosive striker rose well to beat Bellerin to a cross but Cech was on hand to save our blushes.
We continued to create chances but like in recent weak we struggled to convert. On the 21st minute, Giroud failed to make clean contact on a Chamberlain cross and 4 minutes later Sanchez had a golden chance blocked by a combination of Danny Simpson and Wes Morgan. Giroud did manage to find the net however his goal was ruled offside and struck off.

 

 

We failed to capitalise on our first half domination and as is typical Leicester managed to find a goal against the run of play. Jamie Vardy picked the ball up one on one with Monreal on the edge of the box. He took what at the time looked like a heavy touch but managed to recover and poke the ball past a planted Monreal  leg. Leicester’s striker appeared to have altered his momentum with the aim to make contact with Monreal and we had more cause to feel aggrieved because Wes Morgan appeared to foul Ozil in the build up to Leicester’s penalty. Nether the less, Jamie Vardy took his penalty emphatically and put Leicester 1 up at the Emirates.

The second half required a massive response from us. Despite dominating the first half we found ourselves one down and anything but a victory would have left our title prospects looking bleak. We came out looking fired up and in the opening minutes of the second half we created the first big chance. Some nice flicks as well as a bit of fortune saw the ball break to Aaron Ramsey on the edge of Leicester’s penalty area but the Welshman dragged his shot wide.
Although Arsenal were clearly the dominant team, they lacked end product allowing Leicester to hang in there time and time again. On the 51st minute Chamberlain again found himself beyond the Leicester back line, but like on the previous occasion he was unable to find a team-mate with his cross. Monreal, looking to make amends for the penalty, also found himself in acres of space beyond the Leicester defence. Unlike Chamberlain he managed to pick out Giroud but the French man headed over spurning yet another Arsenal chance.

The 54th minute provided the turning point the all Arsenal fans were praying for. Danny Simpson, who had been booked minutes before for a cynical foul on Alexis Sachez, was at it again this time pulling Oliver Giroud down after the Frenchman got beyond him. Referee, Martin Atkinson had no other choice but to send Leicester’s right back off. The red card signalled the end of Leicester’s attacking threat as they retreated in the hope of hanging on and securing a famous win. It was not to be.

We immediately looked to increase pressure on the Leicester goal. Sanchez again found space to to take a shot in the Foxes penalty area but this time it was Wasilewski who was on hand to block.

In the end Leicester were unable to prevent us from making the breakthrough as our pressure finally paid dividends. Ramsey played the ball out to Bellerin who was free on Leicesters right hand side. The young Spaniard crossed to Giroud who knocked the ball down to Theo who finished coolly from close range. Although it took us until the 70th minute to level the game we had the momentum and we were the only ones who ever looked like winning from this point on.

 

There were no signs of us taking the foot off the pedal after our equaliser. Three minutes after levelling, Ramsey again found himself with a shooting opportunity but like with his earlier chance he dragged his shot wide. Sanchez another player who was guilty of being wasteful today fired high and wide after getting into another good goals opportunity on the 75th minute. 3 minutes later Sanchez was in the Leicester area again this time failing to make clean contact on a Walcott pass.

As the game went beyond 80 minutes it looked less and less likely that we would find the winning goal that we so badly needed. We were still creating a multitude of chances however like in recent weeks it seemed like our finishing would be the thing that ultimately costs us. Mertesacker saw a golden chance goes just wide after a wonderful Ozil cross and Welbeck was unable to make clean contact on a shot after a Giroud knock down. The big Frenchman looked to take scoring responsibility into his own hands and late on in the game he had what looked like a definite goal saved by Kasper Schmeichel.
All seemed lost, we missed numerous chances throughout the game and the late miraculous save by Schmeichel seemed to signal that it would be another one of those days. There was one man who wasn’t having it however. Danny Welbeck who came in on the 80th minute to make his first appearance in 10 months, was looking to write his name in the stars and secure the vital winning goal. With a matter of seconds left we were rewarded a free kick after a mind boggling decision by Waselewski to go hurtling into Monreal. With the 4 minutes of added time already up, Martin Atkinson allowed us to take would have been the final kick of the game. The genius that is Ozil, stood over the ball as he watched his team mates jostle for position on the edge of Leicester’s penalty area. It was now or never for a perfect delivery and the German produced it when it was most needed. A perfectly weighted ball was put into the danger area and Wlebeck rose highest to head the ball in deftly into the far corner.

A fantastic effort from the boys to put us firmly back in the race for Premier League glory. We still have a lot to do but the confidence hit that Leicester are likely to take from this loss Is invaluable. Now it’s up to us to win the remainder of our games but for now lets enjoy this victory.

 

 

Guest Writer

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