Can we say that Arsenal are back to their winning ways after clocking another victory after their mid week win against Spurs in the Capital One Cup? Can we base on just two victories and both in different competitions that Arsenal are back to their usual playing selves? Because the 5-2 victory over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium is proof that Arsenal can actually play very well. Yet, they don’t seem to maintain that consistency.
Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud were all on the score sheet on Saturday night, but the spotlight is on Alexis Sanchez whose brilliant hat-trick helped the Gunners snatch a win on a wide margin. Upon kick-off, many opportunities came and went as usual, with Santi Cazorla and Leicester City’s Jeffrey Schlupp and Jamie Vardy all going close in quick succession. It was to be expected that Arsenal would fall behind via a goal by Jamie Vardy. There goes Petr Cech’s clean sheets for the season. Until Cazorla released the speedy Theo Walcott with an equaliser in the 18th minute with a confident left-footed goal that snuck past Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.
It was quite an action-packed game that night, even though I didn’t watch the match but from the video highlights that I saw online, I knew it was going to be a match-ful of goals. A lot of action took place in both halves of the field; one minute, it was in Arsenal’s side, and the next minute, the ball travelled to the Leicester side. It was a fast-paced tennis, ping-pong sort of game. Half an hour later, Alexis Sanchez got his first of three goals for the night (which he obviously did not think he was going to score a hat-trick either).
The second half of the match saw less action but still, it was a fantastic game. It was good because the home side were known for their past victories and have yet to see a loss this season. However, that all came to a supposed end when Sanchez nodded in his second goal from a sweet Mesut Ozil pass. That header itself made all headers look like they’re so easy to score from. A sweet pass from Ozil allowed Sanchez to rise higher than Schmeichel whose punch completely missed the ball, and the Chilean’s head neatly connected with the ball to drive it into the back of the net. Spectacular indeed! Despite having scored three goals already, Arsene Wenger’s side still came hard at the Foxes, with Walcott, Ozil and Aaron Ramsey trying their very best to get their names on the score sheet.
It was in the last ten minutes when Sanchez showed us why he is the Gunners’ key striker and proved his worth when Wenger first brought him to the Emirates Stadium. It was that smashing effort, a fierce drive that sealed the deal for Arsenal. That goal was superbly taken from outside the box, flying high into that tight corner, missing Schmeichel’s gloves just by a few inches. That effort completed Sanchez’s goal haul for the night. It was his first hat-trick of the season.
There was still time for Vardy to get his second goal but the game wasn’t over yet. No, because Olivier Giroud wanted to have the last say when he scored Arsenal’s fifth goal of the match. And then it was over. Arsenal went home that night with all three points, putting them in fourth place just one point above their North London rivals, Tottenham Hotspurs. It was just what they needed, a boost to their performance before they meet with Olympiakos in the Champions League on Tuesday, September 29, and then with Manchester United on October 4. Quite a full schedule, if you ask me, and a heavy one too.
Full match report at Arsenal.com.