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Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck inspire Arsenal's comeback win

Danny Welbeck's late header saw Arsenal beat Leicester 2-1 and keep their title hopes alive. The England international, who has been absent for almost a year with injury, came off the bench to nod home a huge goal in the battle to finish top of the Premier League.

This was a huge result for the Gunners, who were forced to come from behind after Jamie Vardy's penalty had given the Foxes a first-half lead. However, the dismissal of Danny Simpson turned the tide in Arsenal's favour, and they were ultimately able to claim the victory in stoppage time.

Arsene Wenger will be particularly delighted that two of his three substitutes scored the goals to grant his team the win and Arsenal will now feel they have the momentum in this season's topsy-turvy title race.

ArsenalArsenal
Leicester CityLeicester City
2
1
FT
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Player Ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):

GK Petr Cech, 7 -- The veteran keeper was not troubled too frequently, but he did produce one excellent save to deny a Vardy header in the first half; the way he gathered the ball to his chest after the initial stop was almost as impressive as his lightning reflexes. Cech had no chance with the penalty, which was past him almost before he could move off his line.

DF Hector Bellerin, 6 -- The Spaniard's pace helped Arsenal to cope with Vardy's counter-attacking threat, and Bellerin was typically energetic in his support of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the right-hand side.

DF Per Mertesacker, 7 -- Coped surprisingly well with Leicester's speed in attack on his return to the side. Although he will feel he ought to have scored with a free header in the second half, this was a strong showing from the captain. It will be intriguing to see if he retains his place once Gabriel Paulista is available again.

DF Laurent Koscielny, 6 -- It wasn't a huge surprise that Koscielny was withdrawn at half-time, as he hadn't looked himself in the opening 45 minutes. He was booked in the build-up to Leicester City's penalty and generally looked nervier than usual. Nevertheless, Wenger will hope he returns before long. He remains Arsenal's most reliable centre-half.

DF Nacho Monreal, 6 -- It was unfortunate that Monreal was the man to concede the penalty, as his performance was generally very assured. Few full-backs have contained Riyad Mahrez so effectively, while it shouldn't be forgotten that Monreal's bravery won Arsenal the free kick from which they snatched the winner.

Theo Walcott
Theo Walcott's first Premier League goal since Dec. 21 drew Arsenal level with Leicester.

MF Francis Coquelin, 7 -- Arsenal are almost always better when Coquelin is in the side. He adds steel and defensive solidity to the team and is technically superior to the likes of Mathieu Flamini and Mohamed Elneny. He was withdrawn in the second half as the hosts chased the game, which was probably for the best given that he was on a booking and clearly irked by some of Leicester's gamesmanship.

MF Aaron Ramsey, 7 -- Plenty of energy from the Welshman, but a lack of end product. He drove Arsenal forward relentlessly, with Coquelin's presence allowing him to push on into the final third. However, he missed the target with several presentable opportunities.

MF Mesut Ozil, 7 -- Of course it was Ozil who provided the assist for the winner, clipping a beautiful free kick into the box from which Welbeck flicked home. It wasn't his only telling contribution of the game: When he was able to escape the attentions of N'Golo Kante, he was typically astute in possession.

FW Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 5 -- Despite a bright start, familiar bad habits quickly crept in to Oxlade-Chamberlain's performance. All too often, he dribbled down blind alleys and was careless in possession.

FW Alexis Sanchez, 6 -- The Chilean hasn't yet hit top form since returning from injury. However, he worked as hard as ever and showed a willingness to run at defenders that tested the tiring Leicester back line.

FW Olivier Giroud, 7 -- Although he did not score, this was a good all-round display from Giroud. His intelligent knock-down created the equaliser for Walcott, and only a sensational Kasper Schmeichel save prevented the Frenchman from grabbing the winner.

Substitutes:

DF Calum Chambers, 6 -- Replaced Koscielny at half-time and was occasionally troubled by the pace of Vardy.

FW Theo Walcott, 8 -- Came on for Coquelin just past the hour mark and nabbed the crucial equaliser with a smart side-foot finish.

FW Danny Welbeck, NR -- Introduced too late to earn a rating (83), but his contribution will live long in the memory. This was the perfect comeback for the England international.

James McNicholas is a football writer and the man behind Arsenal blog Gunnerblog.com. You can follow him on Twitter @gunnerblog.

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