Premier League
ArsenalArsenal2LeicesterLeicester City1

Arsenal 2-1 Leicester City

By Luke ReddyBBC Sport
Laurent Koscielny scores
Laurent Koscielny opened the scoring despite Leicester's positive start

Arsenal moved into the Premier League top four with a win that left bottom club Leicester City five points adrift of safety.

Mesut Ozil whipped in a corner for Laurent Koscielny to tap in from close range and later saw a shot saved, allowing Theo Walcott to volley home.

But the Foxes rallied as Andrej Kramaric scored a first goal in English football with a low second-half shot.

He was also denied late on by keeper David Ospina as the Gunners held on.

Edgy Arsenal got away with it - Wenger

It has been an eventful four days at Leicester, who were promoted from the Championship in May.

On Sunday, the club issued a statement denying widespread reports manager Nigel Pearson had been sacked and before kick-off he discovered he would not be charged for an apparent touchline grapple with James McArthur during Saturday's defeat by Crystal Palace.

The 51-year-old sat in the stands for the opening period and joked with club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, but the harsh reality that Leicester have been bottom for over two months will escape neither man.

Leicester City league position history
Leicester City have now been bottom of the Premier League since the last week of November

Pearson deployed a rarely used back five to frustrate Arsenal and while his side threatened until the final whistle, the Gunners' quality in the final third - not least from Ozil, who completed 88% of his passes - was telling.

The German - making his 50th start - created an early opening for Walcott, saw a poked shot tipped wide and from the resulting corner, delivered for Koscielny to score his third goal of the season.

I'm tired of being unlucky - Nigel Pearson

The French defender had ample space to side-foot in, ensuring Pearson's side remain on just four clean sheets this season - a league low.

Alexis Sanchez - back after a hamstring injury - had shots blocked but when Ozil found the target from range, Mark Schwarzer parried and Walcott swept home a crisp first-time volley from 12 yards across the keeper.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger lost substitute Aaron Ramsey to injury after just nine minutes of his introduction as they stuttered through the second period and Kramaric will rue his chance to deliver the point his side's endeavour arguably deserved.

He squeezed a shot through bodies and low into the net to give Leicester some hope and when sent clear late on by the impressive Riyad Mahrez - who went close four times on the night - could only chip into the hands of Ospina.

It was a glorious chance and the difference between a crucial away point and Arsenal displacing Manchester United in the top four.

Arsenal celebrate in 2004
The last time Arsenal played Leicester they sealed their 'invincible' 2003-04 season with a 2-1 win at Highbury
Nigel Pearson
Nigel Pearson sat behind chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and the pair laughed and joked during the first half
Laurent Koscielny scores
All of Laurent Koscielny's goals this season have arrived in home wins and he tapped in unmarked from six yards
Andrej Kramaric scores for Leicester
Andrej Kramaric drilled right footed into the bottom corner and could have equalised when clean through late on

Line-ups

Arsenal

  • 13Ospina
  • 39Bellerin
  • 4Mertesacker
  • 6Koscielny
  • 18Monreal
  • 7RosickyBooked at 67mins
  • 34Coquelin
  • 19Cazorla
  • 14WalcottSubstituted forRamseyat 73'minutesSubstituted forFlaminiat 82'minutes
  • 17SánchezSubstituted forGiroudat 68'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 11Özil

Substitutes

  • 1Szczesny
  • 3Gibbs
  • 5Gabriel
  • 12Giroud
  • 16Ramsey
  • 20Flamini
  • 23Welbeck

Leicester

  • 32Schwarzer
  • 17SimpsonBooked at 89mins
  • 5MorganSubstituted forUlloaat 81'minutes
  • 14Huth
  • 6UpsonSubstituted forWasilewskiat 59'minutesBooked at 65mins
  • 3Konchesky
  • 26Mahrez
  • 8James
  • 19Cambiasso
  • 15SchluppSubstituted forNugentat 86'minutes
  • 40Kramaric

Substitutes

  • 4Drinkwater
  • 10King
  • 11Albrighton
  • 12Hamer
  • 23Ulloa
  • 27Wasilewski
  • 35Nugent
Referee:
Mike Jones
Attendance:
60,032

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenalAway TeamLeicester
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home17
Away11
Shots on Target
Home7
Away4
Corners
Home6
Away6
Fouls
Home13
Away14

Live Text

  1. Booking

    Ben Hamer (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Arsenal 2, Leicester City 1.

  3. Booking

    Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  4. Post update

    Olivier Giroud (Arsenal).

  5. Post update

    Mark Schwarzer (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Francis Coquelin (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City).

  8. Post update

    Offside, Leicester City. Riyad Mahrez tries a through ball, but Leonardo Ulloa is caught offside.

  9. Post update

    Hand ball by Olivier Giroud (Arsenal).

  10. Post update

    Francis Coquelin (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City).

  12. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Robert Huth.

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Mathieu Flamini (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Olivier Giroud with a headed pass.

  14. Booking

    Danny Simpson (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  15. Post update

    Mesut Özil (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Danny Simpson (Leicester City).

  17. Post update

    Foul by Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal).

  18. Post update

    Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Matthew James (Leicester City).

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea24175254213356
2Man City24147347242349
3Southampton24143738172145
4Arsenal25136647281945
5Man Utd24128440231744
6Tottenham2513483934543
7Liverpool2512673629742
8West Ham2410773628837
9Swansea249782831-334
10Stoke249692729-233
11Newcastle248793036-631
12Everton246993134-327
13Crystal Palace2468102634-826
14Sunderland2541292236-1424
15Hull2558122334-1123
16West Brom2458112234-1223
17QPR2564152643-1722
18Aston Villa2557131234-2222
19Burnley2449112340-1721
20Leicester2545162240-1817
View full Premier League table

Top Stories