Arsenal

Arsenal

Premier League • England

Player ratings: Defensive duo stand out for resurgent Arsenal at Leicester

Gabriel celebrates his goal for Arsenal against Leicester

Arsenal continued their recent resurgence as they won 2-0 at Leicester in the Premier League, although they were thankful to an outstanding display from keeper Aaron Ramsdale at the King Power.

The visitors led 2-0 at the break, with Gabriel flicking home a header from a corner in just the 5th minute. Emile Smith Rowe then added a second with a clinical finish from 12 yards after some pinball in the Leicester area.

The home side came mighty close to pulling a goal back before the break when James Maddison’s free-kick was brilliantly turned onto the crossbar by the outstanding Ramsdale.

The Foxes, as expected, piled forward a the start of the second period, with Ramsdale keeping out substitutes Harvey Barnes and Ademola Lookman, while Luke Thomas and Jamie Vardy also went close.

But despite all their efforts, Leicester could not find a way past the Arsenal defence and Ramsdale in particular as the Gunners continued their fine recent form.

Leicester (3-5-2)

Kasper Schmeichel: Had no chance with either of Arsenal’s first-half strikes. Great stop to deny Aubameyang from close range in the second half. 7/10 .

Daniel Amartey: Struggled with Arsenal’s movement as part of the back three and was taken off at the break as Brendan Rodgers switched formations. 5

Jonny Evans: Failed to win a challenge he should have done in the area, allowing Smith-Rowe to fire home Arsenal’s second. Booked. 5

Caglar Soyuncu: Not at his best as Arsenal’s clever movement often pulled him out of position. 5

Timothy Castagne: Failed to have his usual impact on the game, either as a wing-back or in a back four in the second half. 5

Midfield struggle for Foxes

Youri Tielemans: Saw a couple of long-range efforts easily held by Ramsdale and didn’t really have his shooting boots on. 6

Boubakary Soumare: Hardly mentioned throughout and had very little impact on the game. 5

Luke Thomas: Drilled a second-half effort narrowly wide and had his hands full with Saka. 6

James Maddison: Guilty of giving away possession too many times early on, but unlucky to see his first-half free-kick brilliantly kept out by Ramsdale. 5

Jamie Vardy: Should have scored with a second-half header. Marshalled well by White and Gabriel throughout. 5

Kelechi Iheanacho: Hardly had a kick in a first-half Arsenal largely dominated and was hauled off at the break. 5

Substitutes:

Harvey Barnes (on for Amartey, 45): Leicester’s best player on the day, despite only coming on at the break. A real threat to Arsenal’s defence. 7

Ademola Lookman (on for Iheanacho, 45): Saw an effort kept out by Ramsdale and gave Leicester more threat going forward. 6

Patson Daka (on for Maddison, 70): Hardly had a touch and no chance of repeating his recent fiur-goal heroics. 6


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Arsenal (4-4-1-1)

Aaron Ramsdale: Produced brilliant first-half stops to deny Iheanacho and then Maddison’s 25-yard free-kick – the second arguably the save of the season so far. Produced more smart saves to deny Lookman and Barnes twice in a brilliant display. 9/10

Takehiro Tomiyasu: Carried on his fine form since joining the club. Always available when the Gunners looked to attack but performed well defensively as Leicester attacked in the second half. 7

Defensive duo solid as a rock

Ben White: Composed on the ball and defended well when Leicester got up a head of steam. 8

Gabriel: Excellent flicked header from a corner gave Arsenal an early lead and defended superbly throughout. 8

Nuno Tavares: A real threat with his attacking play from leftback but was tested defensively in the second period. 7

Bukayo Saka: Bright in the first half and his delivery from set-pieces was excellent. Faded as Leicester dominated possession and taken off late on. 7

Thomas Partey: Dominated midfield with Lokonga in the opening half but on the back foot in the second. 7

Albert Sambi Lokonga: Looked good when Arsenal were on the front foot but had to put a shift in as Leicester piled forward in search of a route back into the game. 7

Emile Smith Rowe: Swept home clinically from 12 yards after the Leicester defence failed to clear their lines. A real menace for Leicester’s defence playing inbetween the lines. Taken off late on. 8

Alexandre Lacazette: Fairly quiet but always dangerous with his clever moment that troubled Leicester’s defence. Taken off early in the second half as the home side started to dominate. 6

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: Lively throughout and was unlucky to see a second-half effort kept out by the feet of Schmeichel. 7

Substitutes:

Martin Odegaard (on for Lacazette, 58): Did most of his work on the back foot as Leicester looked for a route back into the game. 6

Nicolas Pepe (on for Saka, 84): N/A

Sead Kolasinac (on for Smith Rowe, 90): N/A