Arsene Wenger has admitted that he almost left Danny Welbeck out of the 18-man squad to face Leicester City after the striker scored a 95th minute winner.
The former Manchester United man hadn’t played all season due to a knee injury but came on against the Foxes in the 83rd minute with the score finely balanced at 1-1.
It proved to be an inspired substitution from Wenger as Welbeck rose highest the glance a Mesut Ozil free-kick into the back of the net in the 95th minute to give the Gunners an important win.
After not playing since April, Wenger admitted that he was tempted to leave Welbeck out of the squad altogether.
"For him it is a fantastic day," Wenger told Sky Sports. "I had a hesitation until the last second to put him in the squad.
"He was number 18 or 19 [on my list] but in the end I trusted the impression we got from his training sessions and thought 'okay, let's put him in.’”
Arsenal had trailed after Jamie Vardy’s penalty at the end of the first-half gave the away side the lead.
However, the momentum swung the way of Wenger’s men after Danny Simpson picked up a second yellow-card in the 54th minute.
The pressure soon told when Theo Walcott latched onto a Oliver Giroud knockdown to equalise.
Leicester appeared to be heading for a brilliant point until Welbeck headed in right at the death to send the Emirates into raptures.
Wenger revealed that Welbeck was the centre of attention in the changing room at the end as his teammates hailed his comeback from injury.
"Everybody chanted his name because the players know a year out is 10 years in normal life for a football player. He is a great character as well and liked in the dressing room,” he said.
Arsenal’s win leaves them just three points behind Leicester and two points ahead of both Tottenham and Manchester City ahead of their clash.