Alexis on Fire as Arsenal Blitzes the Foxes
Leicester 2 (Vardy 12′, 88′) – Arsenal 5 (Walcott 18′, Alexis 33′, 57′, 80′, Giroud 90′)
Going into this game, Leicester was the only unbeaten team in the Premier League and they were renowned for their never-say-die attitude and fighting spirit. In Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy, they had two forwards in the top of their game at the moment and it was going to be one hell of an encounter against an Arsenal side that was fresh from their derby victory over Tottenham.
With Tottenham’s rather surprising demolition of Manchester City, Arsenal had the opportunity to close the gap at the top against a side that was above them on the league standings. As expected, Wenger made wholesale changes to the team that won at the Lane with Mathieu Flamini getting the nod over Mikel Arteta, as Francis Coquelin continued to nurse his injured knee.
Arsenal had the chance to open the scoring but Aaron Ramsey dallied on the ball and the Premier League showed why it remains one of the most unforgiving leagues in the beautiful game as Leicester launched a swift counter attack and Vardy was given acres of space to pick his spot before he placed the ball past Cech. The defenders could have closed the ball down earlier but it never happened. Arsenal got the equalizer, when Cazorla played to Walcott’s strength by passing into the space, and the forward did really well to get the ball under control before placing it past Schmeichel with his left foot. According to the stats folks, that was Walcott’s 12th Premier League goal in 13 starts. Pretty impressive huh?
Up next was the Alexis Sanchez show! It was a case of when rather if Alexis was going to score a goal and he got his first thanks to some determination from Bellerin. The young Spaniard reacted quicker than the defender and the ball crept to Sanchez that fired the ball home from less than six yards. You could see the relief in his celebrations for finally breaking his duck but it was to get even better. Mesut Ozil dinked a sumptuous lobbed pass to Sanchez and he rose the highest to guide the ball past a hapless Schmeichel in goal.
His hat-trick was complete when he latched on to Monreal’s throw to blast the ball in from some distance but that attempt was from a man high in confidence. That goal also meant that Alexis is the first professional footballer to score a hat-trick in the Serie A, Liga BBVA and the Premier League.
At the other end, Petr Cech had some goalkeeping heroics to keep the tie at bay but he was powerless to avoid another wonderful Vardy finish that was a deja vu of his first. Giroud came on for Walcott and put the icing on the cake with a neat first-timed finish from a Monreal cut back.
After the club had gotten so much stick for the finishing prowess of its forwards, Walcott, Giroud and Alexis all have three goals each in the Premier League and I expect the floodgates to open. It was good seeing Giroud and Walcott on the scoresheet in the same game, like Stoke, which shows that both forwards are benefiting from the fierce competition.
To make a good day even better, Chelsea dropped points yet again at Newcastle, even though I was disappointed by the Magpies inability to hold on to a handsome lead they had created. The Gunners are now three points behind new league leaders, Manchester United, making next week Sunday’s clash all important.
Till then, let’s enjoy what we hope could be a start of a good run of form.
Download the Gooner Daily BlackBerry App to receive notifications on your Smart Phone when a post is published.
Follow Gooner Daily on Twitter @goonerdaily. I’ll follow back
Visit Gooner Daily’s Facebook page.
Click on the “Follow button” to join Gooner Daily’s Mailing List.