Leicester 1 Arsenal 1: Another Reason Why the Gunners Need a Striker
Leicester 1 (Ulloa 22′) – Arsenal 1 (Sanchez 20′)
King Power Stadium (Premier League)
Following the nervy victory over Besiktas, it was expected for the manager to rotate the squad and with that in mind, Yaya Sanogo spearheaded the attack and Aaron Ramsey also returned to the starting lineup following his mid-week rest. With everyone connected with Arsenal hoping for the Gunners to sign a new striker following the unfortunate injury suffered by Giroud, Wenger offered Sanogo a chance to at least prove his doubters wrong. He did no such thing. *sigh*
Right from kickoff, Matt Debuchy tried to dribble his way through two Leicester players but he was fouled by the players closing him down. Arsenal swiftly launched a counter attack with Santi Cazorla but his pass to Sanogo was met with a horrible first touch from the lanky Frenchman, a sign of things to come. Cazorla had a half chance after Alexis was robbed off the ball but his effort went wide. Rayid Mahrez got the better of Nacho Monreal before sending an inviting cross for Leonardo Ulloa but his header was easy picking for Szczesny.
The next noteworthy moment of the game occurred when Laurent Koscielny and some Ghanaian – German bloke called Schlupp clashed heads with Koscielny coming out second best. It took a while for the French defender to receive treatment and with Calum Chambers serving as the only defensive option on the bench, many Gooners felt that it was time to give the lad a run-out in place of the concussed Kos but he returned back to the pitch with an unorthodox head gear – a move that somewhat proved costly as the game progressed.
The match opener finally arrived when Cazorla dinked the ball over the defense but Sanogo failed to capitalize on the ball. Luckily, it fell to Sanchez path that wasted no time in blasting the ball to an unguarded net.
Sadly, the Gunners lead lasted for only two minutes as Schlupp surged from the left hand side before swinging a sumptuous cross that was headed home by Ulloa. Koscielny would have anticipated the ball but it was glaring that the defender was struggling from his head injury. He was replaced by Chambers shortly afterwards.
Mesut Ozil sent Sanogo clean on goal but his poor finishing could only yield a corner. Sanchez swung in the ball to the near post and it was attacked by Per Mertesacker but Sanogo’s effort was blocked by Morgan. Ramsey sent a cross-field ball that was controlled superbly by Alexis but his shot was blocked by Morgan. Ozil did well to win himself a free kick but he failed to get his shot beyond the wall.
At half time, Arsenal had made 15 goal attempts, which was more than the attempts on target they had in both games against Crystal Palace and Everton. At the start of the second half, King sent an inviting cross to David Nugent but his header was saved by Szczesny. It was end to end stuff as Cazorla latched on to Sanchez pass before firing the ball wide. Leicester almost went ahead when Ulloa made mince meat out of Chambers before curling the ball to the side netting.
Cazorla dinked another perfect pass over the defense to Ramsey but he inexplicably chose to head the ball to the goalie when an unmarked Sanogo was in a better position to score. With the Gunners pushing on for a lead, there were going to be the threat of a counter attack and they were terribly exposed when Mahrez, Ulloa and Nugent combined but Debuchy was on hand to make a superb block. Cazorla sent in a cross that was headed over by Sanogo and that turned out to be the final contributions from both players as they were replaced by the Ox and Lukas Podolski.
With Arsenal battling for the all-important goal to seal all three points, their hopes were dashed when Mesut Ozil picked up a knock and struggled to make an impact. Right at the death, Leicester launched another counter attack and almost grabbed a famous victory when Vardy thought that his shot was good enough to find the back of the net but Szczesny made another spectacular save to keep the game tied.
The ref’s final whistle was very frustrating because the Gunners know that these were two valuable points that had been dropped. With the home tie against Manchester City coming up after the international break, Wenger and his team have to go back to the drawing board and the fans would be hoping for a better performance from the lads. Wenger was bombarded with questions about Sanogo’s performance and signing a new striker, and as expected, he handled them in his typical Arsene Wenger-esque style, which can offer hope as well as wiping it off.
When it comes to answering some questions about transfers in the Press, Wenger reminds me of that doctor in the hit movie, ‘The Dictator’, that told that patient that he was “HIV Aladeen” with ‘Aladeen’ being positive as well as negative. So basically, the chances of Arsenal buying a striker on transfer deadline day is ‘Aladeen‘.
How you intend to react to that is entirely left to you.
But I’d end today’s post with a quote from @I_am_OGB,
“If we can’t get the players we would love to have at Arsenal, we should try and love the players we already have at Arsenal”
Food for thought when the transfer window closes.
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