Monday, November 19

Premier League

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Live Commentary: Arsenal 3-1 LeicesterLeicester City

Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the Premier League clash between Arsenal and Leicester City from the Emirates Stadium, which finished 3-1.
By , European Football Editor | 28d

Arsenal came from behind to record a 3-1 win over Leicester City in Monday night's Premier League clash at the Emirates Stadium.

An own goal from Hector Bellerin saw Leicester take a 31st-minute lead in London, but Arsenal then scored three times without reply to make it 10 straight wins in all competitions.

The Gunners have now been victorious in their last seven Premier League matches, and have moved above Tottenham Hotspur into fourth position in the table, just two points off the summit.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

Evening all! Welcome to Sports Mole's live commentary of the Premier League clash between Arsenal and Leicester City from the Etihad Stadium. Arsenal have won each of their last nine matches in all competitions, including their last six in the Premier League to occupy fifth position in the table on 18 points. Leicester, meanwhile, have won four and lost four of their eight league fixtures this season to sit 11th, but would move into the top half of the table with a win tonight.
Arsenal have never lost a home Premier League match against Leicester, winning each of the last 11. Indeed, the Foxes have not been victorious away to the Gunners in the league since 1973. That said, Claude Puel's side ran out 3-1 winners when the two teams last locked horns at the King Power Stadium in May. Can Leicester pick up a surprise win at the Emirates Stadium tonight?
Right, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news from the English capital. Who is in, and who is out? Let's run through the two XIs for this one...
TEAMS!

ARSENAL (4-2-3-1): Leno; Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Lichtsteiner; Xhaka, Torreira; Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Iwobi; Lacazette

LEICESTER CITY (4-2-3-1): Schmeichel; Amartey, Maguire, Evans, Chilwell; Mendy, Ndidi; Ricardo, Iheanacho, Maddison; Vardy

Arsenal's XI shows two changes from the team that started the 5-1 win over Fulham before the international break. Stephan Lichtsteiner takes the place of the injured Nacho Monreal at left-back, while Mesut Ozil is selected ahead of Danny Welbeck. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is once again on the bench for the Gunners, and the same can be said for contract rebel Aaron Ramsey.

As for Leicester, club captain Wes Morgan is suspended, meaning that there is a spot at centre-back for Jonny Evans alongside Harry Maguire. Daniel Amartey will again feature at right-back, with Ricardo Pereira operating further forward. James Maddison and Kelechi Iheanacho also start behind Jamie Vardy, who has six goals in six Premier League starts against Arsenal.
So there we have it. The two teams are in, and we are now just about 40 minutes from kickoff at the Emirates Stadium. I shall speak about Leicester a little bit later, but let's start with Arsenal, who have won their last nine games in all competitions, including their last six in the league.
Arsenal opened their 2018-19 Premier League campaign with back-to-back defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea, but have been perfect since then. Indeed, they have overcome West Ham United, Cardiff City, Newcastle United, Everton, Watford and Fulham in the Premier League, and Vorskla, Brentford and Qarabag in the cup competitions. It has been a very impressive run.
Arsenal will enter this match in fifth position in the Premier League table, having gathered 18 points. They would move above Tottenham Hotspur into fourth with a win tonight, and could also jump above third-placed Chelsea, although they would need a four-goal win in this game.
A win for Arsenal tonight would also move them to within two points of the top of the Premier League table, which is some going when considering that they started with back-to-back defeats. Could the Gunners actually challenge for the title this season? Only time will tell.
Leicester have certainly had a mixed start to the season. Indeed, the Foxes have won four and lost four of their eight Premier League matches to sit in 11th. A win tonight could move them as high as eighth, however, and there is no question that they have talent to overcome Arsenal.
Leicester started their 2018-19 Premier League campaign with a narrow 2-1 defeat at Manchester United, before beating Wolverhampton Wanderers and Southampton in their next two. The Foxes then lost to Liverpool and Bournemouth as their inconsistency continued.
Puel's side have won two of their last three, however, overcoming Huddersfield Town and Newcastle United before losing at home to Everton last time out. Consistency has been a real problem this season, and the former English champions face a really tough test tonight.
Leicester have actually conceded 27 Premier League away goals in 2018, which is a joint-league high with West Ham United. The Foxes are also winless in 16 Premier League away matches against last season's top six since overcoming Manchester City back in 2016.
Here we go then; both sets of players have joined us on the pitch ahead of kickoff at the Emirates Stadium. It is a mild night in the English capital, let's hope for an entertaining match. I have a feeling that Leicester could pick up a good result in this one. Let's wait and see!
KICKOFF:  Leicester kick things off at the Emirates Stadium...
CHANCE!  ... huge chance for Leicester to take the lead as Iheanacho breaks the offside trap before driving into the Arsenal box, but his strike is deflected over the crossbar by Holding!
Leicester have not come here to sit back and defend, there is no question about that. Indeed, Iheanacho is very much alongside Vardy in the final third, and Arsenal have some early issues.
SAVE!  Leno has to push a Iheanacho strike wide of the Arsenal goal!
Not too much for the Arsenal fans to get excited about in the first eight minutes. Indeed, Leicester have had the game's only two chances, and the Foxes currently have the ball.
Pass, pass, pass from Leicester as they continue to move the ball in the final third of the field.
Leicester continue to threaten as Pereira breaks into a dangerous position before delivering a cross towards the far post, but Holding is on hand to make the clearance. The home side then break down the other end and Bellerin has a strike, although Evans is on hand to make the block.
SHOT!  Lichtsteiner misses the Leicester goal with a strike from distance.
Leicester have a free kick in a decent area as Xhaka pulls Maddison's shirt...
... Maddison's free kick was never troubling Leno.
YELLOW CARD!  Holding (Arsenal) is booked for pulling Iheanacho.
PENALTY APPEAL!  Leicester want a penalty as Holding appears to handle inside the box, but the referee is not interested. On second look, it should have been given! Holding is fortunate!
SAVE!  Incredible chance for Leicester as Maguire meets a deep free kick from Maddison, but the centre-back's header is saved by Leno. Brilliant goalkeeping from the German!
Better from Arsenal in the last couple of minutes as they start to make ground in wide positions. There is no question that the Gunners are fortunate to be level at this stage of the match.
Pereira is fortunate to escape a booking for a late challenge on Lichtsteiner as Arsenal continue to make ground in wide positions. Lacazette decides to unleash one from distance moments later, but his attempt was always flying wide of the post. Still goalless in the English capital.
Leicester are having to defend at the moment as Arsenal continue to move the ball.
Another half-chance for Leicester as Pereira breaks down the right before delivering towards Vardy, but the ball has too much weight. Maddison in the build-up was excellent there.
Little over 15 minutes of the first period remaining, and Leicester really should be ahead here. Arsenal have been better in the last five minutes or so, but the visitors have been the more inventive, and should have also had a penalty. It is a really good game of football.
GOAL!  ARSENAL 0-1 LEICESTER (CHILWELL)
GOAL!  Breakthrough! Leicester take the lead in the 31st minute as Chillwell breaks into the Arsenal box before looking to deliver a cross, and the ball is deflected off Bellerin into the back of the net!
Breakthrough! Leicester take the lead in the 31st minute as Chillwell breaks into the Arsenal box before looking to deliver a cross, and the ball is deflected off Bellerin into the back of the net!
SAVE!  ... super save from Schmeichel to keep out a free kick from Xhaka!
YELLOW CARD!  Xhaka (Arsenal) is booked for a foul on Maddison.
Little under 10 minutes of the first period remaining, and Leicester want a second goal. Arsenal are having some of the ball, but the Foxes are so dangerous on the counter-attack here.
Arsenal just have not been 'at it' in this first period, and they continue to give the ball away in dangerous positions. Anyone for a Xhaka red card? One more late challenge and he's gone.
Leicester have a free kick in a dangerous area as Maddison brings Torreira down...
... Xhaka's free kick was always wide of the post.
Evans loses control of the ball in a dangerous area, allowing Arsenal to break forward. However, his teammates come to the defender's rescue, and the Gunners are forced out wide.
SAVE!  Smart save from Schmeichel to keep out a low strike from Iwobi.
Arsenal are on the front foot at the moment, and Leicester could do with the half-time whistle. Chilwell's effort might well go down as a Bellerin own goal, which would be a little harsh!
GOAL!  ARSENAL 1-1 LEICESTER (OZIL)
Oh what a super goal that is! Ozil drives into a dangerous position before finding Bellerin, who delivers straight into the German's path. Rather than take a touch, Ozil simply places the ball into the bottom corner off the post. It really is a wonderful goal from tonight's Arsenal captain.
HALF TIME:  ARSENAL 1-1 LEICESTER
So there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with the two teams level at 1-1. Leicester deservedly took the lead in the 31st minute when Chilwell's cross was deflected into the Arsenal net by Bellerin, but Ozil's super effort sees the two teams level at the interval.
STATISTICS! Arsenal dominated the first-half possession with 65%, while they had 10 attempts, three of which were on target. Leicester, meanwhile, hit the target with three of their six attempts in the first half. Two yellow cards to report - Holding and Xhaka for the home team.
BENCH WATCH! Leicester boss Puel has a lot of talent on his bench tonight, with the likes of Albrighton, Ghezzal, Okazaki and Iborra all available. Arsenal, meanwhile, have options in the shape of Aubameyang, Ramsey, Welbeck and Smith-Rowe. Plenty of talent in that list!
KICKOFF:  Arsenal resume the action in the capital...
... no changes from either side at the break, which is not too much of a surprise. However, I suspect that both managers will have alterations in mind as the second period develops here.
You do get the feeling that the next goal - if there indeed is one - will be crucial in this match. It must be said that Vardy has been quiet tonight, which means he will now score.
Iwobi creates space in a wide position before flashing a cross into the Leicester box, but there are no takers. Good pressure from Arsenal as Ozil then wins a free kick from Vardy.
SHOT!  Xhaka fires one harmlessly wide of the post.
CLOSE!  Glorious chance for Mkhitaryan following a mix-up inside the Leicester box, but the Armenian's effort just misses the far post! Mendy lost the ball inside his own penalty area there.
CLOSE!  Mkhitaryan now fires over the crossbar from inside the Leicester box as Arsenal continue to force the issue. The Gunners are the better side at the moment here.
Leicester continue to come under pressure here as Iwobi and Ozil both deliver low crosses into the away side's penalty box. The home supporters are driving their team forward here.
Leicester just cannot keep the ball at the moment as Arsenal continue to force the issue in the final third of the field. Still more than 35 minutes of football to play before the night is out.
Leicester are leaving Vardy, Iheanacho and Maddison forward, but the trio are just not involved as Arsenal continue to dominate the ball. Puel might well be considering changes here.
OFF THE BAR!  Ndidi strikes the Arsenal crossbar with a towering header from a corner!
Arsenal are preparing to make a couple of changes as the tempo rises here.
ARSENAL SUBS! Aubameyang and Guendouzi replace Mkhitaryan and Lichtsteiner as Emery makes a double change just past the hour mark here.
LEICESTER SUB! Albrighton replaces Vardy for the away side.
GOAL!  ARSENAL 2-1 LEICESTER (AUBAMEYANG)
Well, he has not been on the field long, but Aubameyang has just sent Arsenal ahead. Bellerin with the assist once again as the Spaniard delivers a low cross into the centre of the Leicester goal, and Aubameyang just cannot miss. The Gunners have turned it around in London.
YELLOW CARD!  Albrighton (Leicester) is booked for dissent.
YELLOW CARD!  Ricardo (Leicester) is booked for a pull on Aubameyang.
GOAL!  GOAL! ARSENAL 3-1 LEICESTER (AUBAMEYANG)
Arsenal have their third of the match, and it is another wonderful goal. Bellerin plays a low pass into Lacazette, who delivers into Ozil, and the German's little flick is turned home by Aubameyang for his second of the match. Leicester just cannot handle the movement here.
LEICESTER SUB! Pereira is replaced by Ghezzal for the away side.
Leicester were excellent in the first half, but have been second best since the break.
Little over 15 minutes of the second period remaining, and Arsenal just need to be careful here as Leicester continue to commit players forward. A second for the Foxes would mean game on.
LEICESTER SUB! Okazaki replaces Maddison for the away side.
Arsenal are preparing to make their third change, and it will be Ramsey to enter here.
SAVE!  Wonderful save from Schmeichel to keep out a point-blank Lacazette effort!
ARSENAL SUB! Ramsey replaces Ozil for the home side.
I would be surprised if we had seen the last of the goals in this match as Leicester continue to commit players forward, which is leaving lots of space for the hosts down the other end.
Possession football from Arsenal as we head for the final five minutes of football here.
CHANCE!  Lacazette turns a Iwobi cross over the crossbar from close range!
This is going to be Arsenal's 10th straight win in all competitions, and their seventh in the Premier League, which is some going. If this result stands, the Gunners will only be two points off the top of the Premier League table. Could Emery's side challenge for the title?!
Leicester are playing with 10 men as Vardy heads down the tunnel. Not entirely sure what has happened, but Vardy jogged off the field, and Leicester are a man down in the capital.
Arsenal have possession as we approach second-half stoppage time in the capital.
Ghezzal fires over the Arsenal crossbar as we go into three minutes of added time.
Vardy is still off the field, and will not return. There did not appear to be an injury, so it might have been a trip to the toilet! That just about sums up Leicester's second half here.
FULL TIME:  ARSENAL 3-1 LEICESTER
So there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with Arsenal running out 3-1 winners over Leicester at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners are up into fourth, and now just two points off the top of the Premier League table. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for our live commentary once again. See you soon!

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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
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2Liverpool129302351830
3Chelsea128402781928
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs1290320101027
5Arsenal1273226151124
6Bournemouth126242116520
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8Manchester UnitedMan Utd126242021-120
9Everton125431915419
10Leicester CityLeicester125251716117
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves124441213-116
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton124261318-514
13West Ham UnitedWest Ham123361418-412
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle12237915-69
15Burnley122371225-139
16Crystal Palace12228817-98
17Southampton12156821-138
18Cardiff CityCardiff122281125-148
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield12147622-167
20Fulham121291131-205
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