Partey steers Arsenal towards Champions League football

3 months ago 3185
Thomas Partey scores for ArsenalArsenal completed a league double over Leicester for the first time since 2015-16

Arsenal maintained their push to secure Champions League football as they beat Leicester City to earn a fifth successive Premier League win.

Thomas Partey headed in unchallenged from Gabriel Martinelli's corner after 11 minutes as the hosts capitalised on their dominant start.

Partey also struck the crossbar as Arsenal pressed for a second, while goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale was twice called upon to deny Harvey Barnes - including a superb reaction save from a header - as the visitors threatened before half-time.

But, after Leicester defender Caglar Soyuncu was penalised for handball following a lengthy video assistant referee review, Alexandre Lacazette fired in a 59th-minute penalty to put the Gunners in control.

Soyuncu received only a yellow card as Partey's still goal-bound header was cleared off the line by the alert Luke Thomas.

However, there was to be no way back for Brendan Rodgers's side, who remain 12th in the table.

Arsenal on course to end Champions League wait

Seeking to end a five-year absence from Europe's elite club competition, Arsenal ensured they remain in pole position in the race to qualify with a ninth win in 11 league games.

With three games in hand over fifth-placed United from which to further strengthen their position, Mikel Arteta's men - unlike their immediate rivals - have achieved consistency in both performances and results to emerge as favourites for fourth.

The opening goal was a familiar tale for Leicester, who have now conceded a league-high 15 goals from set-pieces - excluding penalties - after Partey's run to the near post went ignored.

Arsenal had amassed six shots before Leicester, sorely missing injured talisman Jamie Vardy, managed their first attempt after 24 minutes.

But, just as he was in October's reverse fixture, which Arsenal also won 2-0, the inspired Ramsdale was up to the task when the Foxes eventually gained a foothold in the contest.

Martinelli and Bukayo Saka impressed in attack for Arsenal, while Partey was influential in midfield, but it was the slick Martin Odegaard who stood out as he created five big chances for his team-mates in the first half alone.

Lacazette's confidently-despatched spot-kick ultimately moved the game beyond Leicester, after referee Anthony Taylor also took his time to review Soyuncu's subtle handball on the pitch-side monitor.

Rodgers' side must quickly dust themselves down as focus switches to securing a place in the last eight of the Europa Conference League, as they take a 2-0 lead into their second leg against Rennes on Thursday.

For Arsenal, a meeting with title-chasing Liverpool on Wednesday will provide an acid test of their progress since a 4-0 loss at Anfield earlier this season.

Player of the match

ØdegaardMartin Ødegaard

with an average of 8.52

Arsenal

  1. Squad number8Player nameØdegaard

  2. Squad number5Player namePartey

  3. Squad number3Player nameTierney

  4. Squad number32Player nameRamsdale

  5. Squad number35Player nameGabriel Martinelli

  6. Squad number7Player nameSaka

  7. Squad number9Player nameLacazette

  8. Squad number4Player nameWhite

  9. Squad number6Player nameGabriel Magalhães

  10. Squad number10Player nameSmith Rowe

  11. Squad number17Player nameCédric Soares

  12. Squad number34Player nameXhaka

  13. Squad number19Player namePépé

  14. Squad number30Player nameNketiah

Leicester City

  1. Squad number1Player nameSchmeichel

  2. Squad number22Player nameDewsbury-Hall

  3. Squad number7Player nameBarnes

  4. Squad number10Player nameMaddison

  5. Squad number18Player nameAmartey

  6. Squad number11Player nameAlbrighton

  7. Squad number21Player nameRicardo Pereira

  8. Squad number33Player nameThomas

  9. Squad number24Player nameMendy

  10. Squad number14Player nameIheanacho

  11. Squad number29Player nameDaka

  12. Squad number4Player nameSöyüncü

  13. Squad number25Player nameNdidi

  14. Squad number2Player nameJustin

Line-ups

Arsenal

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 32Ramsdale
  • 17Cédric Soares
  • 4White
  • 6Gabriel
  • 3Tierney
  • 5Partey
  • 34Xhaka
  • 7SakaSubstituted forPépéat 85'minutes
  • 8Ødegaard
  • 35MartinelliSubstituted forSmith Roweat 78'minutes
  • 9LacazetteSubstituted forNketiahat 88'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Leno
  • 10Smith Rowe
  • 16Holding
  • 19Pépé
  • 20Tavares
  • 23Sambi Lokonga
  • 25Elneny
  • 30Nketiah
  • 69Swanson

Leicester

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 21Ricardo PereiraSubstituted forJustinat 61'minutes
  • 18Amartey
  • 4SöyüncüBooked at 58mins
  • 33Thomas
  • 24MendySubstituted forNdidiat 61'minutes
  • 22Dewsbury-Hall
  • 11Albrighton
  • 10Maddison
  • 7Barnes
  • 14IheanachoBooked at 30minsSubstituted forDakaat 74'minutesBooked at 80mins

Substitutes

  • 2Justin
  • 8Tielemans
  • 17Pérez
  • 20Choudhury
  • 23Vestergaard
  • 25Ndidi
  • 29Daka
  • 35Jakupovic
  • 37Lookman

Referee:Anthony Taylor

Attendance:60,111

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Arsenal 2, Leicester City 0.

  2. Second Half ends, Arsenal 2, Leicester City 0.

  3. Luke Thomas (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Foul by Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal).

  5. Foul by Patson Daka (Leicester City).

  6. Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Attempt blocked. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (Leicester City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

  8. Patson Daka (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  9. Foul by Kieran Tierney (Arsenal).

  10. Foul by Patson Daka (Leicester City).

  11. Gabriel Magalhães (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Substitution, Arsenal. Eddie Nketiah replaces Alexandre Lacazette.

  13. Substitution, Arsenal. Nicolas Pépé replaces Bukayo Saka because of an injury.

  14. Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Kasper Schmeichel.

  15. Attempt saved. Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Granit Xhaka.

  16. Attempt blocked. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Emile Smith Rowe.

  17. Patson Daka (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  18. Foul by Patson Daka (Leicester City).

  19. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Attempt missed. Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is too high following a fast break.

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