English Premiership

Monreal strikes again as Arsenal edge Leicester

2017-04-26 23:27

London - Left-back Nacho Monreal proved decisive for the second time in four days as Arsenal snatched a late 1-0 victory over champions Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.

With a largely sterile game drifting to a goalless draw, Monreal let fly with a shot that was arrowing wide before it struck Robert Huth and diverted past Kasper Schemichel for an own goal.

Monreal had volleyed in a fine equaliser in Arsenal's 2-1 FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday.

His latest intervention took Arsene Wenger's Arsenal up to sixth place in the table, four points off the Champions League berths.

Leicester, meanwhile, are still not yet safe from relegation, despite their six-point cushion above the drop zone.

The goal triggered a lively and tetchy finish to a game that had previously meandered along at a soporific rhythm.

A series of contentious incidents included a 90th-minute clash between Christian Fuchs and Alexis Sanchez, who attempted to prevent the Leicester man from launching one of his trademark long throws.

Fuchs deliberately threw the ball at the Chilean's shoulder and Sanchez inexplicably threw himself to the ground holding his face.

It had seemed as though the Arsenal faithful were resigned to life outside the Champions League, judging by the swathes of empty seats at the Emirates. Each of the upper tiers was no more than two-thirds full.

The hosts' job was almost made harder after just seven minutes when Sanchez sloppily gave away possession just outside his own area.

Riyad Mahrez pounced and fed Marc Albrighton, whose low cross was swept into the side-netting by one-time Arsenal target Jamie Vardy.

Gradually, though, the game fell into the expected pattern of Arsenal possession against a packed Leicester defence.

Francis Coquelin tried his luck from distance in the 17th minute with a long-range effort that Leicester goalkeeper Schmeichel could only parry away after losing his footing.

At the other end, Petr Cech produced a breathtaking one-handed reaction save to tip over a Mahrez shot following a long throw from Fuchs.

Back came Arsenal through the dancing feet of first Hector Bellerin, then Theo Walcott.

Where Bellerin found his way to goal blocked, Walcott tricked his way between defenders before Schmeichel saved his flicked shot.

If the general atmosphere was muted, the Leicester contingent were enjoying their evening as they filled the north London air with a rendition of "Arsene Wenger, we want you to stay!"

It was a curious encounter, with long passages of patient play interspersed with moments of excitement and individual brilliance.

One such moment came five minutes before half-time when Mahrez jinked between two defenders, only to shoot into the side-netting.

Sanchez then picked up the ball and left the crossbar vibrating with a ferocious 20-yard shot.

The pattern continued after the interval.

A Wilfred Ndidi header was comfortably saved by Cech before Granit Xhaka was the next to find a moment of inspiration with a 20-yard shot that Schmeichel pushed aside with difficulty.

Wenger replaced Kieran Gibbs with Danny Welbeck in an effort to inject his side with greater urgency. Minutes later, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud were also introduced.

Leicester substitute Shinji Okazaki came close to breaking the deadlock, only for Gabriel to block his shot as he raced into the Arsenal area.

With 10 minutes to go, Yohan Benaloune was fortunate to avoid instant dismissal when he climbed onto the back of Giroud using his studs. Referee Mike Jones contented himself with a yellow card.

The match finally came alive five minutes from time when Monreal seized on Mesut Ozil's pass to fire in a shot that found the net off the unfortunate Huth.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Saturday, 31 March 2018
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 13:30
West Ham United v Southampton, London Stadium 16:00
Manchester United v Swansea City, Old Trafford 16:00
Newcastle United v Huddersfield Town, St. James' Park 16:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Leicester City, The American Express Community Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Burnley, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v AFC Bournemouth, Vicarage Road Stadium 16:00
Everton v Manchester City, Goodison Park 18:30
Sunday, 01 April 2018
Arsenal v Stoke City, Emirates Stadium 14:30
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur, Stamford Bridge 17:00
Saturday, 07 April 2018
Everton v Liverpool, Goodison Park 13:30
Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur, Bet365 Stadium 16:00
Leicester City v Newcastle United, King Power Stadium 16:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Huddersfield Town, The American Express Community Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Swansea City, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Burnley, Vicarage Road Stadium 16:00
AFC Bournemouth v Crystal Palace, Vitality Stadium 16:00
Manchester City v Manchester United, Etihad Stadium 18:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.