Nacho Monreal, Arsenal fortunate to grab 'unconvincing' win vs. Leicester

As Premier League wins go, this will go down in the "unconvincing" column. Despite making changes to the team, Arsenal looked like a side that had spent a lot of energy at Wembley last Sunday.

Leicester had little ambition beyond defending, but the Gunners found it hard to make chances and break down what was an obdurate performance from the visitors. Sunday's match-winner, Alexis Sanchez, was wasteful; Mesut Ozil found it hard to get into the game; and Theo Walcott had one of those games where you wonder is it Theo Walcott or some air in the shape of Theo Walcott, so it's little surprise Arsenal found goalscoring chances hard to come by.

In the end, it was an 86th minute Nacho Monreal shot that cannoned off the chest of Robert Huth and crept into the corner which won the game for Arsene Wenger's side. It wasn't pretty but it still brought three much needed points to keep the chase for the top four alive.


Granit Xhaka was excellent throughout, defensively they weren't really troubled, and there was the character to keep going right until the end. Monreal made a good contribution again, but there wasn't much to enjoy in general.


Too many players found it hard to make an impact, Theo Walcott in particular epitomised the lack of drive at times, taking the safe option far too often. Arsenal looked a tired team, and Arsene Wenger will need his players to be sharper on Sunday against Tottenham.

Manager rating out of 10

6 -- Generally fine, nothing to write home about, changes were understandable even if they didn't all work.

Player ratings (1-10, 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Petr Cech, 7 -- Made one outstanding save in the first half to deny Riyad Mahrez, but other than that he didn't have to do much but go through the motions.

DF Gabriel, 7 -- The Brazilian was good again, late in the game making a massively important block on Shinji Okazaki which would have given Leicester the lead.

DF Laurent Koscielny, 7 -- The Arsenal captain has been quietly impressive since the move to the back three, and tonight again he dealt with everything that came his way.

DF Nacho Monreal, 7 -- It was his shot which brought about the game's only goal, but it's a measure of his versatility and quality that he was able to move so seamlessly from wing-back to centre-half.

MF Hector Bellerin, 6 -- Got into some good positions down the right but his final ball was lacking. Switched on defensively too.

MF Granit Xhaka, 8 -- It felt like if anyone was going to make something happen for Arsenal tonight, it would be him. He was always looking for a pass with ambition, that might create something.

MF Francis Coquelin, 6 -- He was fine but more and more he feels like a player who inhibits the way Arsenal play, and on nights like tonight -- against a team that just wants to defend -- he's pretty redundant.

MF Kieran Gibbs, 6 -- Did fine down the left and put in some good crosses early on, forgetting Arsenal weren't playing with a striker who would appreciate that service.

MF Mesut Ozil, 6 -- Couldn't find that pass or that moment against a packed Leicester defence. Will need to be better at White Hart Lane on Sunday

MF Theo Walcott, 4 -- Sometimes he's ineffective but chips in with a goal when you think he can't frustrate you any more. Other times he's just ineffective, although he did force a save in the first half.

FW Alexis Sanchez, 5 -- He tries hard but there are nights when his carelessness in possession almost feels like a liability. Tonight, was one of those nights but even so he came closest to scoring with a shot that smashed off the bar.


FW Danny Welbeck, 6 -- Scored a late winner against Leicester last year, but never looked like replicating that this time around.

FW Olivier Giroud, N/R -- Helped occupy the Leicester centre-halves, and his presence may have contributed to Huth's own goal

MF Aaron Ramsey N/R -- Slotted in perfectly by contributing almost exactly the same as Coquelin.