Arsenal came from behind for the second time in the space of just four days to beat Leicester City 3-1 at the King Power Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
After falling behind to an early strike from Foxes midfield ace Youri Tielemans, who was given the freedom of the Midlands to fire Brendan Rodgers’ side ahead, Arsenal responded through a well-placed header by David Luiz six minutes before the half time interval.
Impressively, the Gunners, who progressed to the last-16 of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday evening, producing a heroic comeback against Portuguese outfit Benfica, went into the break with their noses in front after they were awarded a penalty. Alexandre Lacazette stepped up to the task and sent Kasper Schmeichel the wrong way.
The Gunners made sure of all three points just seven minutes into the second half when the recalled Nicolas Pepe tapped home Willian’s cross from close range.
The victory, which was just Arsenal’s second in their last five Premier League outings, moved them into the top ten with 12 games of the season remaining.
Having suffered back-to-back away reverses against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa recently, Mikel Arteta – the Arsenal manager – will have taken great comfort from seeing his side get back to winning ways on their travels.
With Willian claiming two assists, Luiz netting a rare goal and Pepe getting in on the act, it proved to be a solid afternoon’s work for the Gunners, prompting praise from the national media.
With that in mind, football.london has taken a close look at what the national media have had to say about the Gunners’ impressive win at the King Power Stadium.
“Arsenal’s manager caused a fright among the club’s supporters with his team selection before kick-off,” Darren Wells wrote for the Mirror.
“Mikel Arteta made six changes to the side which beat Benfica midweek, including leaving some of his key players on the bench.
“Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Bukayo Saka and Hector Bellerin were all among the substitutes, while the likes of Willian and Nicolas Pepe started.
“It was a bold move by Arteta, considering they were up against the team third in the league, and looked to be backfiring when his team fell behind.
“But his decisions were soon justified, as Pepe caused Leicester full-back Luke Thomas all manner of problems down the right and Willian set up the equaliser, before both combined for Arsenal’s third.
“Arteta put great faith in his fringe men against tough opposition – and this time, it paid off.”
Revitalised Arsenal moved back into the top half of the Premier League with one of the most impressive victories of Mikel Arteta’s reign,” Mark Irwin wrote for The Sun.
“And they did so in spite of getting off to the worst possible start after falling behind within the opening six minutes.
“Granit Xhaka’s attempted pass to Willian was picked off by Youri Tielemans on the halfway line and the Belgian international was somehow allowed to run unchallenged all the way into the Arsenal area before firing an angled shot into the far corner.
“Arteta has repeatedly warned his players about switching off after conceding early against both Aston Villa and Manchester City in recent weeks.
“But it seems that his message is still falling on deaf ears.”
“On a crisp, sunny day at the King Power Stadium it was Arsenal’s Europa League travellers who looked to have been touched by the breath of spring,” Barney Ronay wrote for The Guardian.
“Behind after six minutes, Arsenal dominated possession and were good value for a 3-1 win against a depleted Leicester City team.
“Leicester will point to absences here, most notably their best midfielder and best centre half, James Maddison and Wesley Fofana, plus an injury to Harvey Barnes’s knee after half-time that will require an operation.
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“But for Arsenal this felt like a significant turn, reward for one of their best away performances of the season.”
“Mikel Arteta says he dislikes looking at the Premier League table but if his team keep playing like this, the Arsenal boss will find himself checking it far more regularly,” Tom Collomosse wrote for The Mail.
“On a day one of the league’s most exciting players, Leicester winger Harvey Barnes, was carried off on a stretcher with a knee injury that will require surgery and a minimum six-week absence, Arsenal were able to rest Bukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and still record a hugely impressive victory – less than 72 hours after knocking Benfica out of the Europa League in Athens.
“Youri Tielemans’ early strike put the Gunners on the back foot but they responded superbly and were in front at the break through David Luiz’s header and Alexandre Lacazette’s penalty.
“The outstanding Nicolas Pepe increased the advantage seven minutes after half-time, condemning Leicester to their sixth home defeat of the campaign in the league, and their second in four days after Slavia Prague’s win here in the Europa League last Thursday.”