Arsenal 4-2 Leicester City: The key factors in the Gunners’ home win

Arsenal secured a 4-2 victory over Leicester City on Saturday afternoon to make it 2 wins from 2 in the Premier League.
Gabriel Jesus celebrates scoring Arsenal’s second goal against Leicester CityGabriel Jesus celebrates scoring Arsenal’s second goal against Leicester City
Gabriel Jesus celebrates scoring Arsenal’s second goal against Leicester City

The blazing London sun provided the perfect backdrop as the Gunners put on an attacking show for the Emirates faithful, who were equally buoyant and in great voice throughout the game.

The home side didn’t make it easy for themselves, however, allowing the visiting Foxes to stay in the game by giving away two cheap goals.

That said, 3 points are the most important thing, and within the home side’s winning performance there were a few key factors which helped to seal their advantage.

Gabriel Martinelli’s dominance over Wesley Fofana

From the off, Arsenal looked especially dangerous down the left hand side, where Gabriel Martinelli was having plenty of joy in isolating Wesley Fofana. Unable to cope with the Brazilian’s pace and direct running, the Leicester defender was booked on 15 minutes after being left in his counterpart’s wake on the touchline, which meant that Fofana had to be cautious for the rest of the game. Being preoccupied with the lively Martinelli also allowed space for the likes of Granit Xhaka and Oleksandr Zinchenko — tucking into midfield from left back as he so seamlessly does — more space to operate. This proved instrumental to the way the game unfolded, with Xhaka himself registering a goal and an assist on the day. Martinelli himself scored Arsenal’s 4th, a driven left footed strike to beat the goalkeeper from just outside the box.

William Saliba’s composure

Much has been said about William Saliba’s impressive start to the season and he continued on from a brilliant performance at Selhurst Park with another solid display today. Although it was his own goal which allowed Leicester back into the game — a misjudged header back to Aaron Ramsdale — the key was how he reacted. Not letting the mistake get to him, he lifted his chin and had some good moments as the game continued. The mark of any good defender.

At just 21 years of age, the Frenchman plays with a calmness and swagger beyond his years and looks to be an extremely valuable addition to the Arsenal defence. His height and pace give him an advantage over attackers but it is his reading of the game that stands out in particular. One example came just before the 20 minute mark at the Emirates, when Dewsbury-Hall looked to fizz a forward pass into Jamie Vardy, which Saliba raced forward to intercept and send Arsenal on their way. “Oh William Saliba” rang out around the stadium in the 83rd minute, showing just how highly the Gunners’ faithful think of the youngster and his performance.

Gabriel Jesus’ cutting edge

Arsenal’s new number 9 opened his Premier League account with two goals and two assists. The first was a sumptuous curled shot, finishing a move he started on the left touchline to beat Fofana with some brilliant skill. When Granit Xhaka’s pass found the Brazilian in the box, he needed no further invitation to lift it over Ward in the Leicester goal to put Arsenal in front. The second was from a corner which fell to the centre forward at the back post for him to finish unopposed. While some may argue it was good fortune, it is a regular feature of Jesus’ game to find himself in the right place at the right time, owing to his instinctive nature and alertness in the penalty area. Often when a player moves for big money to a new team, with the weight of heavy expectation on his shoulders, it can take them time to adapt. Jesus looks right at home in this Arsenal side, and he is full of confidence to boot. It’s this cutting edge in and around the box which could be transformative for his new team.