Arsenal came from behind to beat Leicester City 3-1 at the King Power Stadium on Sunday afternoon, putting in a commanding display against the Champions League hopefuls.
The Foxes capitalised on a defensive mix-up to seize the initiative in the seventh minute, with Youri Tielemans rifling home from an acute angle on the right of the penalty area. The Gunners were awarded a penalty seven minutes later, but VAR ruled the offence took place outside the box, changing the punishment to a free-kick.
The visitors did equalise on 39 minutes however when David Luiz escaped the attention of his marker to head Willian’s free-kick into the far corner of the net.
Arsenal were offered the chance to enter the dressing rooms ahead on the stroke of half-time when Wilfred Ndidi handled in the box, and Alexandre Lacazette dispatched the spot-kick with ease.
Mikel Arteta’s men clinched their victory over the Foxes in the 53rd minute when Nicolas Pepe tapped the ball over the line from inside the six-yard box to round off a wonderful team move from the Gunners.
Let’s check out the player ratings from a surprising afternoon at the King Power Stadium.
Kasper Schmeichel (GK) – 5/10 – Had little hope of getting across his goal to Luiz’s well-placed header and dived the wrong way for Lacazette’s cool penalty. Not great on the third.
Timothy Castagne (RB) – 5/10 – Had to keep the marauding Tierney quiet, blocking his crosses and sticking tight to his man. Completed lost Luiz on the free-kick to allow the Brazilian to equalise. Disappointing.
Jonny Evans (CB) – 6/10 – Not at his best and couldn’t keep it together as those around him crumbled. Went off injured.
Caglar Soyuncu (CB) – 5/10 – Had to help out Thomas on the odd occasion, who had trouble with the tricky Pepe. Made sure the winger felt the full force of his strength.
Luke Thomas (LB) – 4/10 – A very complicated afternoon for Thomas. Couldn’t live with the trickery and movement of Pepe and picked up a yellow card for a drastic intervention in the first half. Understandably subbed at half-time, poor lad.
Ricardo Pereira (RM) – 5/10 – Offered a more defensive presence higher up the pitch, while letting Castagne to bomb on from behind him. Had his own troubles marking Pepe in the second half.
Wilfred Ndidi (CM) – 5/10 – Avoided conceding an early penalty after VAR rescued him. The assistant referee was less kind to him when penalising the midfielder for a stray hand in the box.
Youri Tielemans (CM) – 6/10 – Broke the deadlock with a clinical finish on the angle. Somehow allowed the ball to squeeze through his legs for Pepe to tap home the third.
Harvey Barnes (LM) – 6/10 – Stung Leno’s palms with a fierce drive from distance. Too central. Struggled to find possession and cut a pretty isolated figure at times. Pulled up with a worrying injury in the second half.
Kelechi Iheanacho (ST) – 5/10 – Incredibly anonymous. Doesn’t quite seem to fit in with the rest of this team.
Jamie Vardy (ST) – 6/10 – Always appeared far from the action as his teammates uncharacteristically didn’t play to his strengths. Blocked Albrighton’s goal-bound strike.
Marc Albrighton – 6/10
Cengiz Under – 5/10
Daniel Amartey – 7/10
Bernd Leno (GK) – 7/10 – Had to watch his defence allow Tielemans to cruise through without any pressure. Couldn’t stop the powerful drive. Marshalled his box well and kept the Foxes out.
Cedric Soares (RB) – 7/10 – Not a bad first half from the full-back, who reduced Barnes’ threat to a minimum. Impressive in the second too as Leicester pushed to find a way through.
David Luiz (CB) – 8/10 – Showed brilliant movement to evade his marker and then planted a superb header past Schmeichel to bring Arsenal level. Defensively sound.
Pablo Mari (CB) – 6/10 – What was he doing? Backed off and backed off until Tielemans had enough space to just pass the ball into the net. Bounced back and did brilliantly in the second half to halt Vardy.
Kieran Tierney (LB) – 7/10 – Defended well against the potential threat of Leicester’s counter, stopping Vardy from breaking through on goal in the first half.
Mohamed Elneny (CM) – 7/10 – Far from innocent in his part in Arsenal’s criminal defending for the first goal. Recovered and showed his endless energy and desire to win the ball back.
Granit Xhaka (CM) – 8/10 – Involved in the catastrophic opening goal, getting his feet mixed up and was unable to get back in time. Got a hold of the game after his slow start and began to boss proceedings. Ended very strongly.
Emile Smith Rowe (AM) – 6/10 – Wasn’t overly influential in the first half and had to leave the pitch five minutes before half-time with a muscle injury.
Nicolas Pepe (RW) – 8/10 – Found so much joy against the inexperienced Thomas, constantly beating his man and whipping in some decent crosses. Won the penalty to go ahead. Started and finished the move for the third – unplayable.
Alexandre Lacazette (ST) – 7/10 – Tucked away his penalty with great confidence. Acted as an intelligent focal point for his teammates to play off.
Willian (LW) – 7/10 – Flashed a shot wide from the edge of the box on 27 minutes. Provided the assist for Arsenal’s equaliser. Now the Gunners’ top supplier this season.
Martin Odegaard – 7/10
Thomas Partey – 7/10
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 6/10