Arsenal vs Leicester: Five things we learned as Arsene Wenger's men grind out ugly win against the Foxes

Samuel Lovett
Arsenal's players celebrate following their late winner: Getty

Arsenal beat Leicester 1-0 at the Emirates on Wednesday night to keep their hopes of a top-four finish alive.

It was an ugly affair that was ultimately settled by Robert Huth's late goal as Arsene Wenger's men recorded their third win on the trot.

The Gunners' chances were limited but, once again, their persistence paid off.

As for the visitors, the Foxes threatened on occasion, with Riyad Mahrez coming closest for Craig Shakespeare's side, but they were ultimately unable to find a breakthrough.

Here's five things we learned:

Arsenal grind out another ugly win

After squeezing past Middlesbrough last week, Arsenal secured another important win tonight to keep their slim hopes of a top-four finish alive. It was a cruel conclusion for the visitors, who fought bravely to almost keep out Wenger's men, but once again Arsenal struck late to break Leicester hearts.

It was an ugly win that saw the home side enjoy the lion's share of possession but struggle to capitalise on such dominance. With the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott putting in quiet performances respectively, Arsenal's chances were few and far in between. But yet, the home side's attritional approach paid off with Huth's own goal handing a further three points to the Gunners.

Holding put on hold

Recalled from the wilderness for Arsenal's recent away victory at Middlesbrough, Rob Holding has impressed in his last two games for Arsenal as Wenger has set about tweaking his side's defensive landscape. The player's self-belief, composure on the ball and intelligent reading of the game was on show in the side's FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City at the weekend - most notably in the 66th minute when he shielded the ball from Sergio Aguero before proceeding to dribble past the Argentine.

There was no room for Holding tonight (Getty)

But there was no room for the 21-year-old here at the Emirates tonight. Although Wenger once again fielded a side with three at the back, the former Bolton defender found himself on the bench. Holding clearly possesses the potential but his exclusion suggests that the Frenchman does not yet see him as the whole package yet - in spite of his strengths. Given his youth, Holding has much to learn before he cements himself a spot in Wenger's starting XI regardless of the opposition at hand.

Dissatisfaction still rife

Two wins on the trot, prior to tonight's victory, and a place in the FA Cup final clearly hasn't been enough to settle the waters at Arsenal, as evidenced by the sheer number of seats left empty at the Emirates this evening. Those present threw their support behind the players but this was soon replaced by agitation and frustration as the game wore on. Indeed, the fact many chose not to even show up suggests that no matter what Wenger does now, he stands little chance of unifying the club.

There were a number of empty seats tonight at the Emirates (Getty)

Arsenal continue to lack confidence

Although the Gunners may have headed into tonight's game on the back of two important wins, there's a sense that the side are still suffering from a lack of confidence and self-belief. Wenger's men enjoyed the majority of possession against Leicester but were unable to make much of it until the dying minutes of the match. The Gunners repeatedly found themselves camped outside the visitors' final third but were guilty of overplaying the ball as they sought to create clear-cut chances for themselves. On those occasions when the home side should have chanced their luck with a shot, they opted to force another pass that merely played to Leicester's strengths. Arsenal have the talent but if they're ever to overcome this crippling mental block, they need to start believing in themselves.

The two sides in action (Getty)

Leicester defence comes so close to clean sheet

The might of Leicester's defence was once again on show this evening. Despite missing captain Wes Morgan through injury, the visitors acquitted themselves with the sort of resilience and defiance that saw them excel last season. Leicester were compact and solid, with each and every one of their players working in tandem as the Foxes worked hard to nullify Arsenal's attacking threat.

Benalouane enjoyed another impressive performance (Getty)

Yohan Benalouane again impressed, too, as he stepped in for Morgan. The centre-back put in a number of important interceptions and even showcased some slick feet to bamboozle Alexis Sanchez and relieve the pressure on the Leicester goal early on in the second half. With the added consideration of the dynamic and disruptive Wilfred Ndidi sat in front of Leicester's front four, it proved to be a night of frustration for the home side until Huth's unfortunate own goal handed Arsenal a precious winner.

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