Saturday 13 August 2022

Arsenal 2-0 Leicester (half time)

The Foxes arrived at the Emirates having dropped two points at home to Brentford, but they started to play with plenty of confidence and style, belying that early disappointment.

Although Arsenal weren't quite as impressive as they were at the start of the opening game of the season at Palace, Martinelli was causing havoc down the left. The Brazilian's bamboozling tricks resulted in his marker, Forfana, getting booked.

Arsenal weren't the dominant force initially, but that all changed when Jesus infeasibly spooned the ball over Ward for the opener.

He then added to his tally with a back post header from a Martinelli corner.

Jesus then started popping up everywhere, almost as if Arsenal had 13 men on the pitch, but, just to keep the Gunners on their toes, referee England awarded Leicester a soft penalty.

Luckily, Mike Dean in the VAR room recommended that England check the replays, which showed that Ramsdale made minimal contact on Vardy, who went to ground. England deserves the plaudits for reversing his earlier decision, much to the relief of Arsenal fans.

Half-time ratings
Ramsdale 7 - made a good save to deny Forfana
White 7 - solid, but not as busy as last week
Saliba 7 - gave away a silly free kick, but didn't do much else wrong. Looked good bringing the ball forward.
Gabriel 6 - some poor distribution here and there
Zinchenko 8 - another master class. To paraphrase Matt Upson, Zinchenko knows when to release the ball
Saka 6 - quiet, by his standards
Odegaard 6 - over-hit a few passes
Partey 7 - generally tidy and quite dominant
Xhaka 7 - an assist and a header on target, but lacks pace to get onto through balls
Martinelli 8 - a constant thorn in the Foxes' side
Jesus 9 - nearly perfect.

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