Arsenal win ugly at the expense of Leicester

Arsenal have made their way into the next round of the Carabao Cup at the expense of Leicester, thanks somewhat to a lucky opener but our late second clinched the tie.

The Gunners fielded a relatively strong line-up, despite some key players being rested, but our team performed impressively, despite creating limited chances.

Sometimes a team has to keep their composure and keep organised in order to get the required result, and that is exactly what our boys did.

We knew Brendan Rodgers and his Leicester side were not going to roll over and let us win without a fight, and they definitely did just that.

The Foxes had almost an equal fair of the possession, but our defence limited them to very few clear-cut chances, and despite clocking up a large number of shots, very few of those were actually on target.

Our team was slightly on top in the first half, but kept things tight as we refused to open up for our opponents.

The second-half remained mostly the same, as we looked to wait for our opponents to make a mistake it seemed, and the opener came just before the hour-mark.

Nicolas Pepe retrieved the ball from Nketiah on the edge of the penalty box, before sprinting past the defender and in on goal. He initially tried to square the ball back to the forward, but the goalkeeper intercepted to send the ball back to Pepe, who in turn forces and error from Fuchs for an own goal.

The game failed to change very much after this point. Leicester were trying to take more risk in pushing up the field, but were still never looking like mounting a serious challenge for Leno in goal, and in the dying minutes, it was 2-0 and the game was dead.

Nicolas Pepe put Hector Bellerin through and into the box in space, and he manages to find Eddie Nketiah in the box to fire home.

While this wasn’t the most exciting match to watch, the performance was strong, resilient, and much more organised than the win over West Ham, and while it would’ve be nice to create more clear-cut chances, a team-performance was more of what we needed to see after the weekend.

Was an organised performance more important than the win? Could our team finally go all the way in a competition they haven’t won since 1993?


Tags Arsenal v Leicester Leicester


    1. After another today’s win for his young side, Arteta did not want to be answering questions about his decision to omit Ozil from the squad but there was no avoiding the topic of the German in the post-match press conference.

      “The team is evolving and you can see the level they are achieving so this is where we are at the moment,” said Arteta when asked about Ozil. “We want to evolve more and to play better and to compete better. We are picking the players that we think are best for each game.”

      it was put to Arteta that it is difficult to envisage Ozil playing another game for the club given that he has been left out of every squad so far this season.

      “It is difficult for others as well who did not play in the Premier League and did not play tonight either,” he replied. “We have a squad of 26 or 27 players at the minute and we cannot give game time to all of them.”

      Asked whether he understood that supporters are curious about the situation, Arteta added: “Of course, I understand and respect the question, guys, but I try to do my job as fair as possible.”
      Interesting indeed

      1. Yes finally I heard Artera take a stand on Ozil.
        Ozil is not playing because the coach thinks the players on the field are better. We all should accept MA decision . However let’s not forget that coaches are also accountable.
        Meanwhile let’s forget about Ozil and stand behind the coach and the team.

    2. Still you guys think we should sell him for 30M. No sir, AMN failed to deputize him and he fits in MA’s team perfectly.

      He is not for sale, but for 100M we can talk.

  1. Didn’t watch the game… Onto Monday now…
    Heard Saka did well.
    Nelson still needs to go on loan.
    Anyone still doubting the fact that Willian was actually brought in to be Pepe’s competition and not this AM crap fans kept saying on here?

    West Ham are interested in taking Chambers now

    1. Since you did not watch the game then don’t comment on player performance. Nelson does not need to go out on loan. If we don’t give him the opportunity, he should go to Man City and he could be as good as Sterling. Talented player with good football brain.

      1. Lmao…. Thanks but that’s my opinion, I’ve watched the boy played since he was at the academy. I know what he can do and can’t do so don’t tell me to not comment on performance.
        I don’t care how he performed tonight, he needs to go on loan alongside Willock and maybe Smith Rowe.
        The only senior head among all those kids are Saka and Martinelli.
        Nelson at Man City?
        The way you guys tend to overhype these young kids is why till today we still can’t produce world class players anymore

      2. Come on man! Nelson can never be as good as Sterling. Not even a championship team would guarantee Nelson a starting spot.

    2. Nelson, AMN and willlok disappointed. Nelson is slow, AMN cannot release ball faster.

      We must relish having Saka and Nketiah.

  2. I didnt think it was ugly, i thought it was quite dominant. The defence marshalled brilliantly by Luiz was firm, the midfield wast as sluggish as it has been and we were lively up front. Luiz, saka and Pepe were the catalysts for me but all played ok.

    1. Totally agree Reggie. The goals were scrappy but the overall performance was fun to watch. I’m just amazed at how everyone seems to understand their role now. Really think the lack of crowd noise had helped Arteta stamp his style onto this team.

    2. You’re spot on Reggie – almost exactly my say.
      Luiz was brilliant and I think Kolasinac had a very good game too. Loving Elneny for the DM role, but AM was poor. Bar a few awful passes (or shots), Nelson was decent – arguably his best game I’ve seen as I don’t rate him. Saka was terrific all through; with some energy (he’s always lacked), Pepe would be great.

    3. Dominant ? Equal possession, they had more shots though not many on target we had more corners none threatening … Nelson willock nketiah are surplus esp if we are bringing in a couple of quality midfielders that we need desperately … no issues at centre back we have plenty now and can sell chambers mustafi etc … kolasinac is hopeless but no obvious replacement … naitland miles was very poor possibly our worst player but would still keep him as a gap filler … saka and Luiz were best players by some way … bellerin did something I haven’t seen him do in years but wonder with Barca selling their right back if they may go for him now … no obvious replacement though if Suarez is injury prone .. seems ozil and guendhouzi are Coventry bound metaphorically speaking which I think is pretty dumb given the lack of any quality…. but it is what it is … pool next so I don’t expect to see this 11 on the pitch which would b a good thing

      1. Agree, the goals weren’t a thing of beauty but our play was good with or without the ball and we should have had a stonewall penalty.

    4. Yea thought we were the better side and were in control for much of the game. There was a good Maddison strike, and Leno had to block a shot but nothing too threatening. Pepe, 2nd half WAY better than first half. Luiz was good again and Saka was really a spark throughout. I also liked Nelson’s game, but still think he needs a loan.

      1. Arsenal is drilled to give final pass to PEA who plays through left. In first half we did the same but we forgot our star man tonight is Pepe not PEA who is RW. In second half this is sorted, thus Pepe’s improved performance. You can’t play going forward without ball.

  3. I didn’t watch most of the second half with a poor connection, but I think we did well. Nelson had a good showing, I liked the boldness to go for goal whenever you see it. Also, I like that he’s more of a goal threat coming from the left than he is from the right. It points to him becoming a potent attacker.
    Scrappy goals, but goals, so I’ll take the win. COYG

      1. Both sides were good enough for me…Rogers new the damage pepe can cause so he blocked the angle more and left the right not fully protected for saka who performed great. “Confuse them to play nonsense”

    1. Nelson was poor, l feel he hasnt done much out of the the games he has been given. We started seing him under Wenger, he shld be geting regular game time now had he been good enough and working hard. I lov the Boy but if he does not impose himself better, he wil find playing difficult frm Arteta

  4. Kudos to the lads for keeping organized and a clean sheet. I still feel more work needs to be done in the middle of the park. We need to impose ourselves more when attacking the opposition. Otherwise they won’t be afraid to come out and attack us.

    A special shoutout to elneny. The guy surprised me with his reading of the game. Not bad at all.

  5. I really enjoyed that. Some decent performances – Saka, Nelson, Luiz and even my man Kolasinac played well 😁
    Great result… nice one, boys 👍

  6. Positive: stubborn, hardworking, lucky, doesn’t look team that used to get battered away easily.
    Negative: lack of aggression to retain the possession, lack of penetration, lack of creativity, predictability.

  7. Nketia did pressed well and got a goal at the closing stages. David Luiz confidence is exemplary and did a good job today. However, my MOTM will go to Elneny, who hardly put a foot wrong while keeping the midfield compact and same time fluid. Hardwork and mother luck kept us in till the final whistle. L’Pool next…

    1. I find it inconceivable that anyone with an ounce of grey matter could consider Nelson to be “poor”.Along with Saka, he was one of our better players yesterday before he tired which was natural given that it was his first start of the season in a competitive match.I am however prepared to use the word poor to describe our stand in left centre back .

  8. … if that is what it means to win ugly.
    For me, they gave Leicester some footballing lessons on their own pitch, only no commensurate goals

  9. Having watched the full 90 minutes, I can’t help but thinking if we don’t manage to sign aouar and partey, perhaps arteta, should look to forgive guendozi and ozil and use them. May be even torreira too.

    Whilst Willock, Smith-Rowe and Nelson would all really benefit from a loan move away.

    Whilst Sue, thinks Kolasinac did ok, the rest of the world thought he looked pretty awful. For me the first three out to make way for someone should be sokratis, mustafi and kolasinac. That could raise us 25-30m and would probably give us enough money to fill that last place with partey or aouar. Only if we then offload torreira and guendozi could we bring in one or two more.

    1. Nelson is a very good player. Give him time, I see Arteta turning him to a world class striker like Guardiola did with sterling. He is highly talented. Good football brain. I seem to prefer him to Nketiah, who though scores , still lacks that football brain.

      1. It’s that vast majority again Sue -always thinking they talk for the rest of us dullards!!!
        Very good performance from us, still unbeaten and playing the way MA wants them to.

      2. I did mention in the last game report that people will say Kola is awful simply because he’s Kola (this goes for any player btw) . You could refer back to my article about blame game inertia. Thing is, since the spurs game, everyone is looking at him through that lens, so he’s awful regardless of what he does.

        1. 👍 Nice one, Joe. I have to give credit where it’s due. He was poor on Saturday, much better tonight… hopefully we’ll see more of this Kola!!

  10. It wasnt a let’s just go for a run out. Arteta and arsenal are probably thinking lets try and win everything available.

    It was not our first 11 but a strong 11. Leno Holding Pepe Saka Luiz supported the pretenders.
    Eddie again gets his goal. Nelson was busy Willock quite.

    But overall it was a game in the past we would of struggled with. Today it felt like we did the closing down and that opened up the victory and an easier run out for the boys.

    Liverpool Monday night is going to be a game that they will want to win in 30 mind with intense domination. Arteta will be aware of that from the champions league showroom with City. We have to fight from the front, much like today.

  11. 2nd half was all Arsenal. Leicester had 11 changes, but we were definitely the better team. Now we need a couple of midfielders because we have more games.

  12. Its a game at a time lest we hope and aim too much and get hurt, via disapointment.

    Even if we beat liverpool at anfield which is the strongest fortress in elite leagues. (which i doubt and see a barren draw), i will remain modest with my expectation of 4th place finnish.

    We all know our team starts each season with swagger and ends same way but seems to be plagued to collapse around february till april then peaks towards april close.

    Its too early guys for an hallelujah, lets support the team modestly not with bogus expectations.


  13. Unbeaten run continues, great team work great win. Most of the players played well except Niles n few others that were average. Most importantly, we won. This is not what is called winning ugly, second half arsenal dominated the game. The manager knows the number of players we needs to compete for the plenty matches this season, all our youth players are all important to play carabao n FA cups

  14. Pleased with the improvements that the team has made overall, especially defensively .Stand out players for the match were Saka, Luis, Elneny,Nelson and Nketiah. Players are mentally stronger, as,they handle opponents pressure much better. Ugly goals, but,good win. Arsenal should have had a penalty in the game.

  15. Satisfying win, as others have said, we need more creativity in midfield is all. Elneny and Willock did fine but done offer any great service for our forwards, and cannot achieve the quick, decisive passing that we are looking for. I really hope we get some top midfielders in before window closes. The fact we have all wins right now is very good from Mikel. I’m worried against sides like Liverpool of course we’ll get exposed. But going to stay positive going into Liverpool game. Dont expect a miracle but would like to see us put up a good fight again.

  16. Surely there can’t be too many complaints about a two goal win with a clean sheet away from home at Leicester City? Didn’t look too ugly to me.
    Maddison was unlucky hitting the post with Leno beaten; however how was Saka not awarded a penalty or even referred to VAR? The interpretation of the rules does not appear to be consistent, changing game by game.
    Although midfield is a concern, Arsenal competed better given the possession stat’s away from home and the defense is looking better organized. A win is a win, builds confidence and hopefully is habit forming.

  17. Positive
    This is a great performance by our bench warmer players + some starter for Liverpool preparation.

    Leno + defenders playing balls inside the box will cost us against bigger team. Leno should stop also late pass.


  18. Liverpool will the biggest test and will be all out to main tain their winning run. Ther is no reason why Arteta cant throw a spanner into the Liverpool machine.
    I believe defensively Arsenal are in better shape than Emery and better than Wenger.
    Pool play a passing a gme witha sudden burst of high speed .If Arteta van stifle the likes of Salah and Mane and stop the flow of ammunition ,Arsenal can win.
    To be frank I will be very surprised if Arteta were to lose by 4/5 /6 goal margin.He is unlike Wenge r

  19. Expected game from Arteta, he played smart and tried to keep our goalkeeper safe most of the time.

    My only point is that Pepe and Saka weren’t doing much without the ball, they need to get down and have the ball then they can push forward, most of the time Nketiah is doing that instead of them. And this man is on FIRE! He is fighting to score!! This is what we need to win titles and qualify to CL!

    Thanks all

  20. Wow, I love this, we won again against premier league team and also an away game without conceding at all.. Some fans are funny here, all what they care about is to blame our players and always look for mistake or fault in everything they do( even though we win), what of if we lose, what would have happened to the players and the coach. I watched Chelsea match yesterday too and the way they played against their opponent, I was like hmmmm this Chelsea team are not ready yet( even though they won 6-0)…. Well I love this current Arsenal team and the determination and mind set they put in every match they have been playing is superb and wonderful.. Keep it up guys and let’s get ready against Liverpool….

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