Gunners gunned down the Foxes! A promising win

Arsenal player ratings vs Leicester: Pepe shines, Willian and David Luiz  impress in Gunners win | Evening Standard

The starting XI did not give me much confidence to be honest, especially the forward line that was missing Auba and Saka…but there you go, maybe this is the game that will trigger Willian and Pepe’s fortune at AFC! What a game they had!

However, there are few concerns to be talked about:

  1. Another early goal conceded and in a very amateurish way…it was embarassing
  2. ESR’s injury before half-time. Let us hope it is not too serious but I am afraid that we won’t see him for a couple of weeks.

After conceding in the most stupid way possible, we regrouped and controlled the game and from that point onwards, the Foxes were nullified until the 96th mins when Ihenacho had a good look at goal. But overall, we really managed the game well and we applied good pressure to level the game and then to take the lead. I really liked the beginning of the second half as well where we still wanted to control the game. A good afternoon overall and a good team performance and credit to Arteta for his team selection.

Here are the ratings:

Pepe and Willian had a good game today.

They basically were the difference:

  • Pepe getting fouled for the FK that led to goal 1. FK dispatched by Willian who racked up an assist.
  • Pepe’s shot leading to the PK, expertly taken by Laca.
  • Pepe starting and ending the move for the third goal with a nice lay-off to Odegaard whose brilliant pass to Willian led to another Willian’s assist.

Leno – 6.5 – Tidy job. Not at fault on the goal.
Cedric – 6.5 – Tidy job on both ends. Shame that his crossing was off today.
Luiz – 7.5 – A goal and a good attitude.
Mari – 6.5 – At fault on the goal conceded but then was solid and kept Vardy out of the game.
Tierney – 7 – Industrious as always.
Xhaka – 6.5 – A poor start followed by a solid display.
El Neny – 6.5 – Fought hard. Needs to be more adventurous with his passing at times.
Pepe – 8.5 – A nuisance for Leicester throughout the game and did not shy away from his defensive duties. MOTM for me.
ESR – 6 – An annoying injury but not his usual confident self until the injury either. Come back soon!
Willian – 8 – 2 assists and a good level of effort! Was nice to confirm his good performance vs Benfica with the solid display today.
Laca – 7 – Took his PK well and held the ball well when needed.

Odegaard – 7 – A good game for him despite a very lampe pass that could have led to a Leicester goal.
Auba and Partey – N/A – Was nice to see Partey again and Auba had one good chance too in his few mins on the pitch.

Arteta – 7.5 – Great team management and selection.


23 Responses to Gunners gunned down the Foxes! A promising win

  1. RockyLives says:

    Toss up between Willian and Pepe for MoTM… who’d have thought?

    We completely bossed that game.

  2. RockyLives says:

    Great write up RC.

  3. LB says:

    “Arteta – 7.5 – Great team management and selection.”

    Didn’t expect to be reading that at the end of the game.

    Yep, all is good in Arsenal world again.

  4. RC78 says:

    @rockylives – I thought I d support you with a write-up. You have been writing so much lately. Hope you are well.

  5. RockyLives says:

    Good stuff RC.

  6. RockyLives says:

    I thought ESR was playing well before his injury – really speeding up our play in the middle, but Odegaard did well when he came on (although he got lucky with that dangerous cross field pass that got picked off by a Leicester player).

    Hopefully it’s nothing serious with ESR, but if he is out for a few weeks it shows the sense in bringing in Odegaard.

  7. RA says:

    Tremendous performance by all, today, and your ratings are fine, too, RC — and altho it is just a quibble, for me I think Willian deserved MoTM as it seemed he was a different player to the one Rocky has previously doubted.

    All of us bloggers, except Rocket Man, thought Willian has been really excellent whenever he has played, so obviously Rocky will have to buy us all a pint, when we eventually meet to celebrate 4th place.

    And you have been really unkind to Belli, too, Rocky, when the rest of us, especially me, were all keen to forgive him for his inept play.

    🙄 🤪

  8. RockyLives says:

    I’m just a big softie Redders 😀

    (But I think I agree with you in that I would give MOTM to Willian, just a smidgen ahead of Pepe).

  9. RockyLives says:

    If Willian hits some form our attacking options are starting to look sweet:

    Willian, Pepe, Saka, Laca, Auba, ESR, Odegaard, Martinelli…

  10. RA says:

    Post-Match observations:


    The change in players picked to play may have had a lot to do with Mikel’s wish to ‘play out from the back’ with that awful passing from GK to CBs pretty much within the penalty area giving the opposition an unnecessary chance to capitalise on our poor passing.
    We are not Man City, so let’s hope Arteta puts that back in the box in future.

    Contingent upon that, instead of practically playing on each other’s shoulders, and not using the space available, today the team gave each other plenty of room, and the swift, precise passes turned the game when linked to the after-burner pace of Willian, Pepe and Laca.
    Glorious to watch.

    Instead of backing up in defence when counter-attacked, it was refreshing to see that we stood up, and tackled hard each time, coming away with the ball more often than not. When Leics lost the ball, we were in an excellent position to counter-attack ourselves, and the aforementioned Pace of our attack made us threatening throughout.

    They were scared of us — haven’t said that much in the last few years.

    Finally, instead of the same players being picked, every game, and resulting in tiring out our star players, and also allowing some repetitively poor players to pull us down, the changes to the team show what can happen when the roster is spruced up.

    Hopefully, Mikel will have learned from that, and will give Martinelli and Balogun and others a shot at making us more difficult to beat.

  11. RA says:


    You are certainly not guilty of anything I said, in jest, other than trying to support Arsenal players thru thick and thin. 😁

    In fact, speaking for myself, I have been critical about some players, and still am not convinced about some — but it is a glorious feeling beating a good team like Leics, and we were so much better than them today, and did so without needing a ‘lucky’ break.

  12. RC78 says:

    I thought also that Cedric brought more defensive solidity than Bellerin…

    As for Martinelli and Balogun, I also wish to see them more in the next few weeks.

    Could that be next year’s attacking options:

    AM: ESR, Odegaard (although I do not rate him yet)
    FW: Saka, Pepe, Willian, Martinelli, Nelsson (?)
    ST: Auba, Laca (?), Balogun (?)

    I think Nketiah’s future is becoming more uncertain at AFC…and if Balogun is tied up, then Nketiah would be out. I wouldn’t be surprised if we were to tie down Balogun on a long-term contract, loaned him up in the EPL and got the loan of a Giroud-type of player next year and sold Nketiah to a Newcastly type of team.

  13. Sue says:

    Nice one, RC!!
    Wow, I didn’t see that coming… a win at the KP and keeping Vardy at bay has been a long time coming and I enjoyed every minute of it (well after the early wobble!!)
    Great header from Luiz.. Pepe and Willian = decent!
    The sun is shining, I am smiling! Massive win.. only downer is ESR… praying it isn’t too bad…

  14. RockyLives says:

    I have really had it in for Willian for weeks now, but it’s nothing personal: it’s just that he’s been playing like poo.

    So I am absolutely delighted that he played well today. Genuinely happy. A good Willian is better for Arsenal and what’s better for Arsenal makes me happy.

  15. RC78 says:

    ESR apparently injured his hip…let’s c…

    Special mention to Xhaka too today who after a wobbly 10 mins did a remarkable job. He has become a solid fixture of our midfield. Who would have thought?

  16. LBG says:

    Thanks and well done, RC.
    A really uplifting performance. (Despite what looked to me like a tired and “down” Leicester)
    No game in midweek and a Saturday fixture (even if BT again) to follow. The future’s bright, the future’s Arsenal.

  17. LBG says:

    Hope we play that Burnley team next Saturday! And they have to play Leicester mid week. Hope the Gods have decided to give us a break.

  18. LB says:

    “I thought also that Cedric brought more defensive solidity than Bellerin…” (RC)

    Yep, make that 2

  19. Aaron says:

    Reasonable ratings for sure, thank you RC.

    Got up late, recorded the game, no pressure to watch it, felt relaxed really.
    Liked the lineup, minus ESR starting, and the proved to be correct.
    Mikel did not start Saka nor did he need to start ESR, imlo.

    Started the game with a strange goal, Mari should have came up, but that was just in a long line of events which should have occurred before the goal, and Leno did not cover himself in glory either.
    Believe Mikel is coaching players not to leave their feet or play too aggressively, more on this in a second.

    Now, game could have went south quickly, but did not.
    The “sectional” pressing was excellent, the Foxes looked toothless the rest of the game. They could not maintain possession at all. Our team was tactically pressuring and not exerting too much energy chasing the ball, along with fresh legs. Masterclass by Mikel today.

    Will say it, Willian, Pepe and Luiz had good games. Does not mean I want them to be penciled in starters, but this is wise in order to rest other players. They still had their “moments” regardless, however they did well and credit to them.

    Hope ESR’s injury was just a hip tightening up and nothing major.
    Major stop sign Mikel, so stop playing him every game.

    Looking forward to the next game.

  20. RockyLives says:

    We’re three points behind Liverpool 😳

  21. GoonerB says:

    Impressive performance. We didn’t just win but won deservedly as the dominant team.

    I’m more impressed and encouraged that we can play like that even without our strongest line up. That should bode well in terms of quality squad depth as games come thick and fast. We should all hope that some of the recently more maligned players start to step up.

  22. RockyLives says:

    New Post

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