ARSENAL kept their hopes of a top-four finish alive with a fortuitous victory at home to Leicester tonight.
It was another disjointed performance from the Gunners in front of a near-silent Emirates crowd, that finally burst into life, like the team, in the 86th minute.
Nacho Monreal fired in a volley much like he did for the equalising goal in Arsenal’s FA Cup clash at the weekend against Manchester City.
Keep up to date with all the latest news, gossip, rumours and done deals in SunSport’s live transfer blog
But this time it was going well wide, until it took a cruel deflection off Robert Huth’s chest to fly past Kasper Schmeichel in the Leicester goal.
There were some unsavoury scenes towards the end of the Premier League clash, as Leicester pushed for an equaliser.
Christian Fuchs appeared to aim a throw-in straight at Alexis Sanchez, with the Leicester man clearly feeling the Chilean was not far enough away.
Sanchez went down clutching his face – but quite clearly it had hit his shoulder.
Fact, Stats, Goals and Lols
- THE EMIRATES was embarrassingly empty at kick off. Massive swathes of bumless red seats and only minor delays on the Piccadilly Line which serves Arsenal.
- ARSENAL boss Arsene Wenger drops four of the players who earned the club a record 20th FA Cup final on Sunday with Giroud, Ramsey, Holding and Oxlade-Chamberlain all out of the starting XI.
- ALEXIS SANCHEZ has the best chance of the first half smashing a shot against the crossbar in added time.
- PETR CECH makes a great save from Riyad Mahrez in the 24th minute.
KASPER SCHMEICHEL makes the best save of the game so far one-handed to push clear a Granit Xhaka shot from 20 yards.
- EMIRATES STADIUM devoid of life as Arsenal fail to impose any kind of tempo on City as they bid to save hopes of a top four finish.
- DANNY WELBECK replaces Kieran Gibbs with just over twenty minutes left as The Gunners crank up the search for the desperately needed goal.
- ANXIOUS WENGER then finishes with three strikers as Olivier Giroud joins the frontline alongside Welbeck and Sanchez.
- CITY defender Yohan Benalouane incredibly lucky to stay on the pitch after using Giroud’s back like a human step ladder and putting his studs into the Frenchman’s back.
Tottenham (A): 30 Apr – Prem
Man Utd (H): 7 May – Prem
Southampton (A): 10 May – Prem
Stoke (A): 13 May – Prem
West Brom (A): Apr 29 – Prem
Watford (H): May 6 – Prem
Manchester City (A): May 13 – Prem
Bournmeouth (H): May 21 – Prem
Dream Team Ratings
Arsenal: Cech 7, Gabriel 7, Koscielny 7, Monreal 7, Bellerín 7, Coquelin 7 (Ramsey, 75 6), Xhaka 7, Gibbs 7 (Welbeck, 68 6), Walcott 7 (Giroud, 75 6), Özil 6, Sánchez 6
Subs (not used): Oxlade-Chamberlain, Iwobi, Martinez, Elneny
Goals: Huth (OG 86)
Booked: Xhaka, Sanchez
Leicester: Schmeichel 7, Simpson 6, Benalouane 7 (Gray, 90 5), Huth 6, Fuchs 7, Mahrez 6, Drinkwater 6, Ndidi 7, Albrighton 6, Vardy 6, Ulloa 6 (Okazaki, 70 6)
Subs (not used): Chilwell, Musa, King, Amartey, Okazaki, Zieler
Booked: Fuchs, Simpson, Benalouane, Huth
Star Man: Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal)
What They Said
Arsene Wenger to Sky Sports: “Leicester were hard to break down, but we were patient and did not give away any chances. We created some dangerous chances.
“We had to give everything on Sunday afternoon, playing extra-time. I think Christian Fuchs should have got a yellow card at the end as well as Sanchez.
“Every win gives you a little more momentum. I don’t have a preference for the Manchester derby, we don’t have to look much at the others. We just have to look after ourselves. The target is clear for us.”
Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare: “We showed resilience in our defending, but we have not got any points on the board to show for it.
“We restricted them and were cruelly beaten by a deflected shot. We have got a dejected dressing room in there.
“We have not got enough points yet and we need to put more on the board.”