Unbeatable Ramsdale stars as Arsenal win at Leicester
Gunners' goalie produces a string of fine saves in impressive 2-0 victory at the King Power Stadium
Saturday, 30th October 2021 — By Sam Ferguson at the King Power Stadium
LEICESTER CITY 0
ARSENAL 2 (Gabriel 5, Smith Rowe 18)
AARON Ramsdale silenced the King Power Stadium in today’s (Saturday) early Premier League game with a powerhouse performance that sealed a huge 2-0 away win for Arsenal against Leicester City.
The Gunner’s keeper pulled off a game-changing double save just before half time, and rescued an under-pressure Arsenal with some important saves to deny the Foxes in the second half.
With just minutes to go before the break, James Maddison’s curling free kick looked destined for the top corner. But Ramsdale’s diving save tipped the ball up onto the bar, before he somehow recovered in time to bundle Johnny Evans’ rebound onto the post.
A relieved Arsenal defence cleared the ball off the line before mobbing their keeper, while deafening cries of “England’s number one” rang out from the away end.
After the game Mikel Arteta praised Ramsdale’s character, and admitted he thought Maddison’s effort would end up in the back of the net. “My reaction when I saw the ball leave Maddison’s foot was ‘goal’,” said the Arsenal boss.
“I don’t know how it happened. It was incredible. And the timing for us was crucial.”
He added: “Today he has made some incredible saves to help his team and maintain a clean sheet, he has to continue that.
“I think he’s settled in a group that he’s very welcome in, with a lot of young energy and very humble senior players. That’s Aaron’s character. He’s full of energy.”
The Gunners had sprinted out of the blocks at the King Power Stadium, taking just five minutes to find the back of the Leicester net through another well-executed corner – their fourth set-piece goal in as many games.
This time it was Gabriel who leapt in a crowded box to meet Bukayo Saka’s in-swinging cross, steering the ball into the back of the net.
Arsenal looked confident after the goal, pressing well and closing off space in midfield with aplomb.
Arsenal’s second goal – just 13 minutes after the first – was again a result of good team pressing, as Thomas Partey won the ball back in midfield and found Saka in space on the right wing.
Saka played it square to Alexandre Lacazette, who bundled through several Leicester players into the penalty area. But a sliding tackle from full-back Luke Thomas accidentally poked the ball through to Emile Smith Rowe arriving late into the box, and the midfielder made no mistake in firing it home.
The second half saw Leicester almost permanently camped in the Arsenal third, with the home team’s profligacy and some important saves by Ramsdale enough to secure the win for the Gunners.
Midfielder Youri Tielemans looked dangerous for Leicester on the Gunner’s left, persistently finding himself in enough space to fire dangerous crosses into the Arsenal box.
Leicester full-back Thomas had a chance to punish Arsenal early in the half, dragging a shot wide in the 55th minute. Striker Jamie Vardy – usually on target against the Gunners – was also found wanting as he missed the target with a free header on 67 minutes.
The excellent Ramsdale made up for a number of wayward long passes as Leicester pressed for a goal by rushing off his line to make two important saves from winger Harvey Barnes.
Ultimately, Arsenal weathered the storm well to keep a hard-won clean sheet, and were even unlucky not to get a third with another dangerous set-piece forcing a good save from Kasper Schmeichel at Leicester’s far post as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looked to poke home.
The Gunners will now look forward to the next Premier League game next Sunday at home to Watford with a massive three points in the bag.
Arsenal: Ramsdale, White, Partey, Gabriel, Saka (Pepe, 84), Lacazette (Odegaard, 58), Smith Rowe (Kolasinac, 90), Aubameyang, Tomiyasu, Tavares, Lokonga
Subs not used: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Holding, Soares, Elneny, Martinelli
Leicester City: Schmeichel, Soyuncu, Evans, Tielemans, Vardy, MAddison (Daka, 70), Iheanacho (Lookman, 46), Amartey (Barnes, 46), Castagne, Thomas, Soumare
Subs not used: Bertrand, Ward, Choudhury, Dewsbury-Hall, Vestergaard, Ndidi