Arsenal v Leicester
What an afternoon for the Arsenal! Their off season has been nothing short of transformative. Looking like the Gunners of olde, Odegaard and the boys refused to lose. They put up four against a Leicester side that showed no quit, and rocked the Emirates with a 4-2 win.
Leicester found them perpetually stuck as the defending side in an offense vs defense drill almost the entire half. Arsenal’s plans for the future really shone through for the first forty five minutes. Their link up play, up and down the pitch, was near pinpoint accurate throughout. Making the Gunners look like a passing chain that just would not be broken. Jesus put two past Leicester’s keeper, and could have had 4 or 5 in the first but for luck and a few great saves by Ward in the net. The rare times Arsenal found themselves defending in the first half they were stalwart. Immaculate tackles, well thought out interceptions. The first half was a thing of beauty for Arsenal and their supporters.
The second half was much more competitive. Leicester found their bite early on and were able to beat Arsenal’s press, and put pressure on their box finally. While Leicester were a threat it was really down to a few blunders that they found themselves within a fighting chance in the second. An own goal by the young Saliba gave Leicester hope, but only for a moment. Within 2 minutes the Gunners own pressure saw a miscommunication from Ward and Fofana lead to an open net for Xhaka. A rare mistake from Ramsdale let in one more James Maddison and Leicester, but yet again, within seconds of that blunder Martinelli makes the move. He wins the ball in the middle of the pitch, lays it off, and waltzes to the top of the box for a square ball, and a smooth finish.
Arsenal’s second showing in Prem wasn’t quiet as easy as the first, but showed more what this new generation of Gunners is about. Swift, quick, decisive passing and finishing. Eleven men defending off the ball. And determination. The prediction posts are coming, but for now I still see this Arsenal side not only in the top four, but possibly finishing second this season. Only time will tell. Until then, what a watch they’ve been.