Arsenal were in for a test of their recent form and improvement with a tough away date with Leicester City. I’m very pleased to say they passed with flying colors, tallying a strong 2-0 win. I don’t think anybody in a Gunners shirt put in less than a 6 of 10 performance, and several players had absolute blinders. Aaron Ramsdale, Gabriel, Ben White, Bukayo Saka, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were all fantastic on the day.
The Gunners started the match on the front foot and nearly scored in the opening minute off a Bukayo Saka cutback. They were energetic, pressing high, and looked much faster than a lethargic Leicester side that seemed not to have realized the game had begun.
Arsenal were quickly rewarded for their bright start when Gabriel deftly headed home a beautifully-taken Bukayo Saka corner. The Gunners have four goals off corners in the last four matches, which is more than they had the entirety of last season.
Arsenal doubled their lead less than 15 minutes later when Emile Smith Rowe pounced on a loose ball in the box and smashed it home. The goal came off a great pass from Thomas Partey to get Saka into space, who combined well with Alexandre Lacazette on the edge of the box. But the move started off a sloppy pass from James Maddison, which was a theme on the day for the Foxes. Even when they were in the ascendancy in the second half, small mistakes were their undoing.
Speaking of James Maddison, the Leicester attacker nearly got one back for his side just before the half from a set piece.
HOW DID THAT STAY OUT? #LEIARS pic.twitter.com/2Ydz6s9nQo— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) October 30, 2021
That’s probably the best save of the season thus far in the Premier League and will be a candidate for best of the year when the campaign wraps up, I think. Ramsdale did enough on the rebound, too. And shout out to Thomas Partey for the clearance off the line.
It was a MOTM performance from the Arsenal keeper, who made eight saves on the day on his way to a clean sheet. As I mentioned at the top, Gabriel had (another) absolutely massive performance and Ben White was really good along side him. Arsenal have definitely found their centerback pairing (and they are both just 23 years old, like Aaron Ramsdale).
It was also really good to see Bukayo Saka put in a strong attacking performance after a run of less-than-stellar ones. He gave Leicester loads of trouble down the right, especially in the first half and was arguably Arsenal’s best attacker on the day.
That title could also go to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who had one of those “did the little things” that matter matches. He seems re-energized as a player, and you can see it most in his work without the ball (yes, I know that’s a tired trope). Aubameyang seems like a bellwether player for the Gunners, which I suppose you expect from the club captain. As he goes, so does the team. They feed off his energy and positive attitude.
Arsenal are unbeaten in nine straight matches and have taken 17 of the last 21 points on offer in the Premier League. They’re up to 5th in the table, temporarily. If they avoid stumbling at home against Watford, they’ll go into the international break as the hottest team in the PL. Onward and upwards!