Mesut Ozil 'sublime', Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scores twice as Arsenal rally vs. Leicester
LONDON-- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang played the super-sub role for Arsenal again, scoring two quick goals off the bench for the second game in a row as the Gunners took their winning streak to 10 games in all competitions.
Arsenal had trailed after Ben Chilwell's cross was deflected by Hector Bellerin into his own net in the first half before Mesut Ozil scored a well-taken equalizer just before the break.
Continuing a trend under coach Unai Emery, Arsenal weathered the storm despite looking shaky in the first half before a much-improved second-half performance secured all three points.
Arsenal keep finding ways to win games even when they're not necessarily playing that well. Leicester were by far the better team in the first half and easily could have built a bigger lead before Ozil's equalizer.
But just like the home games against West Ham, Everton and Watford, Arsenal took control of the match after the break and once again showed how lethal they are on quick counter-attacks.
The third goal was simply sublime as Ozil masterminded a lightning move that included a back-heel flick and a dummy from the German before he set up Aubameyang for an easy tap-in.
Despite the 10 straight wins, Arsenal's defensive problems are far from over. To be fair, they were without a natural left-back and their top centre-back due to injuries. That being said, they still left themselves far too exposed to counters early on, despite Leicester's well-known ability to break. Emery better hope Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Nacho Monreal recover quickly because Arsenal can't keep riding their luck forever.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- Emery had to shuffle his pack defensively due to injuries but his decision to leave Aubameyang on the bench looked questionable as Arsenal's attack struggled to get going in the opening 45 minutes. To the Spaniard's credit, his double substitution on the hour changed the game completely as Arsenal were two goals clear within five minutes. His side have yet to put together a complete performance at home, though.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Bernd Leno, 6 -- Made a stellar one-handed save to deny Harry Maguire early on but also misplayed a cross in the second half that led to Wilfred Ndidi hitting the bar. Helpless on the goal because of the deflection.
DF Hector Bellerin, 7 -- A bit unlucky to score the own goal but made up for it with two good passes in the buildup to goals. The Spaniard was a dangerous attacking outlet down the right throughout and picked up an assist on Arsenal's first.
DF Shkodran Mustafi, 6 -- Looked all over the place in the first half but improved dramatically after the break.
DF Rob Holding, 6 -- Lucky not to give away a penalty when he clumsily handled the ball in the first half, which could easily have earned him a second booking as well. Did well to block Kelechi Iheanacho's early shot but didn't look nearly as solid as in previous games.
DF Stephan Lichtsteiner, 5 -- Had to fill in at left-back for the second time at Arsenal and didn't look entirely comfortable. Left Arsenal exposed to counters at times but also showed his experience to win a couple of tough duels.
MF Granit Xhaka, 5 -- A liability defensively and sloppy with the ball at times, but did well when filling in at left-back after Lichtsteiner was taken off. Arsenal need a lot more from the Switzerland international, who is keeping Aaron Ramsey out of the team.
MF Lucas Torreira, 8 -- Showed his relentless energy by winning the ball back all over the pitch and helped mask Arsenal's defensive deficiencies in the first half.
MF Alex Iwobi, 6 -- Not quite as impressive as in recent games but always looked lively and full of purpose when he got the ball.
MF Henrikh Mkhitaryan, 5 -- A fairly ineffective display by the Armenian, who couldn't get much going with the ball. Arsenal's attack sparked into life when he was taken off and Aubameyang came on.
MF Mesut Ozil, 9 -- Wore the captain's armband and backed it up with a sublime display. Scored a well-taken goal, was directly involved in the second and got the assist for the third after masterminding a brilliant attack.
FW Alexandre Lacazette, 7 -- Put in another good shift up front but had little service to work with and lacked a natural strike partner until Aubameyang came on. Missed a sitter when the game was already decided.
MF Matteo Guendouzi, 6 -- Helped solidify Arsenal's midfield when he came on and showed good composure on the ball.
FW Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 8 -- Made an instant impact with his two goals. Both were easy finishes but his pace helped Arsenal stretch the Leicester defence.
MF Aaron Ramsey, N/R -- Came on when the game was already decided and didn't have nearly the same impact he had against Fulham.