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EPL: Welbeck hands Arsenal controversial comeback win over Leicester City

14/02/2016

/ by Biyi Akangbe

SoccerNet Nigeria
Danny Welbeck scored in the fifth minute of stoppage time to hand Arsenal a dramatic 2-1 victory over 10-man title rivals, Leicester City, at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

The Foxes were forced to play the majority of the second half with a numerical disadvantage after Danny Simpson was controversially sent off, and Arsenal finally made that count with the last meaningful action of the match.

The Foxes took the lead within three minutes of their match against fellow title challengers, Manchester City, last weekend, but they found themselves on the back foot early as Arsenal won a corner in the opening minute, from which Alexis Sanchez directed an effort narrowly past the far post.

The visitors needed Kasper Schmeichel to be alert after quarter of an hour too as he came racing off his line to make a crucial interception when Aaron Ramsey threatened to race clean through on goal.

Leicester had their first chance of the match just a minute later when Marc Albrighton lifted a cross to the back post for Jamie Vardy, whose downward header was kept out by Petr Cech, who also collected the second ball before Vardy could poke it home.

The majority of the openings continued to fall the way of Arsenal, however, and Sanchez was denied by a last-ditch block from Wes Morgan before Olivier Giroud failed to get a clean contact on a head from the resulting corner.

Giroud did have the ball in the back of the net shortly after the half-hour mark, only to see it rightly chalked off for offside, before once again failing to make a good enough connection from a corner.

Leicester ended the first half on top, though, and came close through a curling N’Golo Kante effort that was clawed behind before taking the lead right on the stroke of half time.

It stemmed from a typical Leicester counter, with Kante giving the ball to Vardy, who raced into the box before being brought down by Nacho Monreal. Vardy himself stepped up to take the spot kick, slamming it beyond Cech to give his side the lead.

Just as they did in the first half, Arsenal made a bright start to the second and almost levelled things up within a minute of the restart when Ramsey dragged a shot wide of the target after Danny Drinkwater had denied Mesut Ozil.

Referee Martin Atkinson drew the ire of the home fans in the first half, but it was Leicester who could feel hard done by after the break when they were denied another penalty for a trip on Mahrez by Monreal before being Danny Simpson was shown a second yellow card for a hint of a tug on Giroud.

The equalising goal did finally come with 20 minutes of the match remaining when Hector Bellerin’s cross was cushioned into the path of Theo Walcott, allowing the sub to stroke his finish past the onrushing Schmeichel.

Giroud and Ramsey had more sights of goal as Arsenal’s relentless pressure continued, but it would be the fit-again Welbeck, on his first appearance of the season, who would steal the win for the hosts when he glanced Ozil’s free kick into the far corner.

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