Arsenal started slow but finished impressively against Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium, coming from behind to win the match 3-1.
On Monday, Unai Emery’s side continued their record of never being ahead at the half-time break, but that doesn’t really worry Arsenal fans anymore. The Gunners always seem to come out stronger in the second half. This was no exception.
After an unfortunate own goal gave Leicester a lead that they honestly deserved, Arsenal responded with a Mesut Özil goal right before the break. The team then did their usual trick of scoring two quickfire goals in the second half to kill the game, playing some beautiful football along the way.
Let’s take a look at our individual player ratings for the match.
1Goalkeeper and Defence
Bernd Leno 8
This was a very good performance from Leno again, as he fights to keep his place once Petr Cech returns. The goalkeeper had to make a couple of saves, including one excellent stop from Harry Maguire. To get to the ball was difficult enough, but pushing it wide and away from danger avoided an easy tap-in for the lurking Leicester players.
Leno also made a few good high claims and played out from the back very effectively. 80% pass accuracy is excellent for a goalkeeper. I’m not going to attach any blame to Leno for the goal, as it was a cruel deflection. However, he was caught out once on a corner and can count himself lucky that the ball hit the bar from the resulting header.
Hector Bellerin 7.5
Bellerin’s performance was very much like Arsenal’s as a whole. He started a bit slow and markedly improved as the match went on. The own goal was unlucky but only happened because he was diving in to get back in time.
After that, he made amends with some impressive work going forward, getting himself two assists and turning the game around. Only Benjamin Mendy (5) has more assists this season than Bellerin (4).
Shkodran Mustafi 8
Mustafi looks like he might finally be finding some form, just as the competition for places is hotting up with Sokratis, Mavropanos and Koscielny on the way back. No one won more aerial duels than his five, only one player made more tackles than his three, and the German’s passing was also as good as it’s been this season.
Rob Holding 7
Holding was also generally pretty solid, but he lost Kelechi Iheanacho on two separate occasions. The second time, he had to take a yellow card just to avoid the striker getting away.
Other than that he won most of his duels, blocked a couple of shots and like Mustafi his passing was very good. His turn to beat a Leicester player in his own box was ill-advised, but it worked.
Stephan Lichtsteiner 6
Playing out of position on the left-hand side, the conditions clearly weren’t ideal for Lichtsteiner’s first Premier League start. Playing with the in-form Iwobi, the defender still couldn’t make anything happen offensively, and his left-footed crosses were poor.
Lichtsteiner’s passing was generally okay, but there isn’t much else you can put on the positive side. He lost most of his duels and didn’t make any tackles or interceptions. Presumably, he’ll be back on the right on Thursday. Let’s hope he does better then.