Five talking points from Arsenal's smash-and-grab victory over Leicester City

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Danny Welbeck came on as a late substitute to score a last-gasp winner on Sunday as Arsenal beat league leaders Leicester City 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium, narrowing the gap at the top to just two points.

The England striker sent the red half of north London into pandemonium as his glancing header crushed the Foxes' brave resistance and, quite possibly, their title aspirations.

Here are five key talking points taken from the title clash.


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In previous years, the Gunners have been widely criticised by pundits and fans alike for not going the extra mile to secure much-needed results.

Late goals conceded, ill-discipline and individual errors have often exposed Arsenal’s inability as true title contenders, but none of this was evident on Sunday.

But for a questionable penalty decision, Arsene Wenger's side were defensively solid and went toe-to-toe with their opponents all over the pitch.

No signs of nerves were shown as Aaron Ramsey and Francis Coquelin frequently thwarted Leicester’s attacks whilst their flair players - Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - worked solidly throughout to help nullify attempts of a counter attack and prove dangerous going forward.

The Gunners aren't usually a side to rely upon last-minute goals, but the sheer effort and domination shown eventually proved dividends to claim an important and dramatic victory.


Summer signing N’Golo Kante would have perhaps been more devastated than most in a Leicester shirt as they succumbed to a heart-breaking defeat. The uncapped Frenchman was absolutely outstanding in the middle of the park alongside Danny Drinkwater.

The pair were solid in the tackle, creative when supporting attacks and offered a herculean presence from start to finish. If Claudio Ranieri’s side are to win the title, the performances of Kante and Drinkwater will be absolutely vital.


Much has been made of the penalty decision which led to Jamie Vardy’s opener. The striker was criticised for diving over Nacho Monreal’s leg, but in reality, he merely accepted the invitation that was on offer.

Was Vardy clever in disguising it? Yes. Was Monreal clumsy in dipping his leg? Yes. It really was a catch 22, but it’s hard to disagree with Martin Atkinson’s decision to award the spot-kick which was duly accepted by the England international, smashing the ball past Cech in emphatic fashion.


Danny Simpson has enjoyed a fantastic season at right-back, but he’ll want to put this appearance at the Emirates behind him. The former Manchester United graduate was clumsily booked twice in five minutes and there was no arguing Atkinson’s decision to dismiss him.

Ranieri’s side appeared reasonably comfortable holding their slender lead, but Simpson’s actions turned the game in Arsenal’s favour. The Foxes had to defend for almost 40 minutes and were ultimately unable to hold them off.


Wenger will have been subtly smiling to himself after his two substitutes scored to clinch victory and reignite Arsenal's title hopes.

Theo Walcott and Welbeck's strikes have blown the title race wide open once again, with the latter undoubtedly motivated to make a lasting impression with 12 games to go following his long-term injury.

It remains to be seen just how much game time Welbeck will be afforded, but his return will come as a boost regardless given the different dimension he adds.

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