Comfortable Arsenal cruise to win over Leicester and reclaim top-four spot with Man Utd watching

Alexandre Lacazette, Martin Odegaard, Cedric Soares Arsenal v Leicester March 2022

Arsenal reclaimed fourth place in the Premier League from Manchester United with a 2-0 win over Leicester at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners made the brighter start and Thomas Partey nodded in the opener from a corner after 11 minutes. The Foxes did fight back before half time, but Arsenal had goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale to thank for some fantastic saves.

Leicester counterpart Kasper Schmeichel also played well in goal at the other end. However, his defence could not cope with the second-half Arsenal pressure, resulting in a penalty to the hosts.

Alexandre Lacazette expertly made it 2-0 from the spot as Mikel Arteta’s side moved back into fourth.

Indeed, Man Utd’s 3-2 win over Tottenham on Saturday had temporarily moved them above the Gunners. But, Arsenal still have three games in hand after their latest result.

After a cagey start, Arsenal got their foothold on the match with their dangerous attackers beginning to click.

Gabriel Martinelli caused the first stir when going down in the box. However, referee Anthony Taylor waved away his penalty claim.

Martin Odegaard then found Martinelli with a brilliant pass, but the Brazilian was offside as Schmeichel smothered his shot.

Arsenal take lead, Leicester fight back

Thomas Partey goal, Arsenal v Leicester March 2022

As a result, Arsenal tried their luck from a set-piece and got their rewards. Martinelli swung in a corner from the right and Partey floated between Leicester defenders unmarked to nod home at the near post.

The Ghana international hit the bar with a chance to make it 2-0 after Bukayo Saka and Granit Xhaka had shots blocked, as Arsenal pushed for a second.

Having survived the waves of Gunners attacks, Leicester settled into the game.

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Harvey Barnes forced Arsenal goalkeeper Ramsdale to race off his line and make a solid save. Centre-back Ben White then came to the rescue when sticking out a foot to stop James Maddison, who was just about to pull the trigger.

Leicester continued to press and had 88 per cent possession at one point late on in the half.

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But from a second corner in quick succession, Ramsdale made an even better save than his first to deny Marc Albrighton’s header which was destined for the top corner.

After the break, Schmeichel made his own fantastic contributions. He denied Saka’s effort before tipping away White’s header. Foxes full-back Luke Thomas then cleared the rebound off the line.

VAR hands Lacazette penalty chance

But VAR then got involved, pointing to a potential handball by Caglar Soyuncu before Thomas cleared off the line. And after a long check by both VAR and Taylor at the pitchside monitor, Taylor pointed to the spot.

Alexandre Lacazette made no mistake. While Schmeichel dived correctly to his right, Lacazette floated the ball above him right into the corner.

Arsenal eased off in the final 10 minutes, but not before chances for Leicester, who committed bodies forward.

Ramsdale kept out a deflected Albrighton effort before saving substitute Kelechi Iheanacho’s shot.

But Arsenal were always in control and Emile Smith Rowe, who has made a habit of scoring from the bench, came on looking to add gloss to the scoreline.

Despite not scoring again, the Arsenal fans enjoyed the flowing football on the pitch and began celebrating every successful pass.

Liverpool, who are the next visitors to the Emirates on Wednesday, will provide a sterner test to Arsenal than Leicester did.