Leicester City – Arsenal: Nicolas Pepe drew a penalty and later scored a goal as Arsenal beat Leicester City 3-1 at the King Power Stadium on Sunday.
David Luiz and Alexandre Lacazette scored the other goals as Arsenal looked invigorated despite giving up an early Youri Tielemans goal to the hosts.
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Arsenal’s in 10th but the 37 points provide the more important figure, three points back of sixth and five back of fourth-place West Ham.
Leicester remains third with 49 points, 13 back of Man City and six clear of fifth-place.
Three things we learned from Leicester City – Arsenal
1. Europa fatigue? Not for the visitors: Both teams played Thursday in the Europa League but only one team looked weary. How much of that was down to Leicester being knocked out of the tournament by Slavia Prague and the Gunners riding Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang magic past Benfica is up for interpretation, but Arsenal is certainly deeper than Leicester and it showed despite an early concession. Pepe was bright throughout, Xhaka had hold of the game from the middle, and the Gunners rarely missed chances to punish the Foxes.
2. Leicester still very well-positioned (Alas, more injuries): The Foxes are now done with the Europa League but will be happy that the lack of schedule congestion will couple with some very nice fixtures as they focus on the FA Cup and Premier League. Leicester next has Burnley, Brighton, and Sheffield United ahead of the FA Cup quarterfinal visit from Manchester United. Then it’s Man City at home in the league befor West Ham, West Brom, Palace, Saints, and Leicester City. That is a lot of available points before a brutal trio of fixtures to finish the season.
Can they have a nice cushion above Man United, Chelsea, and Spurs before those three matches? Not if the injuries keep coming to the King Power Stadium. Jonny Evans and Harvey Barnes left the pitch, the latter on a stretcher, while Wesley Fofana, James Maddison, Dennis Praet, Ayoze Perez, and James Justin were out of the lineup.
3. Arsenal rising, with depth (Pt. I, continued a bit): With one loss in five across all competitions, that being a 1-0 defeat by Man City, the Gunners are now scoring plenty and winning in different ways. The early goal didn’t sink anything about Arsenal’s performance, and Burnley’s next before Mikel Arteta has to align his stars literally and figuratively for Olympiacos, Tottenham, Olympiacos, and West Ham between March 6 and 21. Liverpool comes to the Emmirates after that.
Man of the Match: Nicolas Pepe
Leicester City – Arsenal recap
Tielemans had Leicester in front quickly, the first bit of danger going in the back of the net after stealing the ball just inside Arsenal’s half and dribbling 40 yards into the box to beat Bernd Leno to the near post.
But Leicester then gave away a penalty when Nicolas Pepe cut between Tielemans and Wilfred Ndidi. A long VAR review found that Ndidi’s contact occurred just outside the box.
Arsenal tied it up via Luiz’s quality marker, a well-turned header of a parallel free kick.
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There were quite a few first-half flashpoints and Ndidi wasn’t spared a penalty when VAR reviewed a second incident involving the influential midfielder. His handball put Lacazette on the spot, and the Frenchman delivered a goal for 2-1 at halftime.
Arsenal added to its lead seven minutes after the break, Pepe starting and finishing a team move through the 18.
It’s nice to have Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as an impact sub, and the midweek UEL hero arrived late to add danger.