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Arsenal took a big step towards the title against Leicester.

Arsenal's victory against Leicester City proved they can win the title

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It was a massive result for Arsenal and an even bigger one for Arsene Wenger to beat Leicester City last weekend. While the three points were vital, the game told us more about who might win this epic title race. 

It was one of the most eagerly-awaited games of the season. A heartbreaking last-minute winner from Danny Welbeck left Leicester with their heads in their hands, but let the Gunners dream that this really could be their year.

Of course it's far from over, but while this title race is refusing to give many hints away, it looks like the result might have given us an insight into who will get their hands on the Premier League trophy this season.  

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Arsenal held their nerve

The Gunners didn't start well, but make no mistake, they held their nerve in this game when it mattered and that's a sign of champions. 

When Jamie Vardy slotted his penalty past Petr Cech to put the visitors in front before half-time, the Arsenal boss thought “eight points would be too much,” as quoted by the Independent.

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Wenger had the painful thought that his 12-year wait for a title would continue; luckily his players didn't and they kept their cool, unlike the Foxes. 

People have pointed to the fact that if Danny Simpson wasn't shown a red card then Leicester would have probably won that game. 

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That's a valid argument - except he was sent off. The Leicester full-back buckled under pressure and received a second yellow card for needlessly dragging down Oliver Giroud which swung momentum into Arsenal's favour.

There were high expectations for Claudio Ranieri's side heading into the fixture. While some thought Leicester could cause Manchester City a problem a week earlier, not many truly believed they would thrash Manuel Pellegrini's side 3-1 at the Etihad like they did.

Arsenal v Leicester City - Premier League

The league leaders came into the game with many backing them to defeat Arsenal. Unfortunately for fairytale lovers, the Foxes didn't get their happy ending. 

Leicester were the better side up until Simpson's dismisal and not even the Arsenal supporters could see a way back. 

Nevertheless, when it mattered, Ranieri's side lost their nerve and the Gunners held theirs.

There will be plenty of times the north London club will be under pressure from now until the end of the season. They have the likes of Cech, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil in their squad who've won a host of major trophies between them and, thankfully for them, they can recall on this experience - something Leicester can't. 

Ranieri got it wrong

When Simpson was sent down the tunnel, the substitutions that followed from Ranieri didn't help his side. 

While it was a tremendous showing of character by Arsenal and Welbeck to come from behind to snatch all three points, the former Chelsea boss might have been able to prevent it. 

The waves and waves of attacks from the Gunners were frequent and the Leicester defence began to cave in, despite Wes Morgan's heroic blocking.

Arsenal had a number of glorious opportunities that presented them beforehand, with Kasper Schmeichel's world class save to deny Giroud being the pick of the bunch.

Ranieri needed to buy his side some time. They had been pressing the Gunners all game but couldn't hold on much longer. 

Leonardo Ulloa should have been introduced soon after Simpson's red card. His build allows him to hold it up for others and this could have given his defence some respite. 

While Vardy has been a sensation this season and possesses incredible pace, he was understandably running on empty and his skill set doesn't include playing with his back to goal.

FBL-ENG-PR-ARSENAL-LEICESTER

Champions need that clever nous about them. They need to know how to slow the pace of the game down and win soft free kicks.

With Ulloa on the pitch, the defenders would have had a target to aim at. Instead of launching it up the field to a helpless Vardy and allowing the onslaught to continue, Ulloa could have used his physique to keep hold of the ball and give Leicester's rearguard a breather.

Not only would Ulloa have given them time to rest, he's a colossal aerial presence. If he was standing in the box with a minute to go his assets could have helped defend Ozil's free-kick.

Brave tactics

Wenger has faced a lot of criticism over the years for being tactically naive. This time he and his team deserve credit. They kept focused and went for the jugular. Some might call it naive, but it was a very bold move by the Arsenal manager to send on a third striker and fortune favoured the brave.

Arsenal v Leicester City - Premier League

It could easily have lost them the game, and we could be talking about how Wenger got it wrong instead of Ranieri. Nonetheless, the risk paid off. He could sense Leicester were struggling and an extra body in the box might just rattle them, and Welbeck did just that to devastating effect. 

While there is still just under a third of the season to go, we might know more now about who can play under pressure and who can't. This time the Gunners prevailed, but this is just one test, there are much bigger ones to come. 

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Topics:
Leicester City
UEFA Champions League
Alexis Sanchez
Premier League
Football
Arsene Wenger
Arsenal

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