Leicester 0-1 Arsenal: Gunners maintain gap at top as Martinelli goal seals win
A single goal from forward man Gabriel Martinelli was all Arsenal needed to down Leicester City and maintain the gap at the top of the table.
A hard-fought game at the King Power Stadium saw the Gunners come out on top, with Martinelli’s early second-half effort the difference despite the away side’s dominance.
Not quite the dramatic scenes of Arsenal’s last win – 4-2 against Aston Villa – but Mikel Arteta’s side got the job done and remained safe at the top of the Premier League ahead of a revenge match against Everton in the week.
Oleksandr Zinchenko was on the scoresheet in the vital win at Villa Park and was made captain here as a mark of respect on the first anniversary of the war in Ukraine.
The Ukraine international was named in a side showing just one change from the 4-2 win at Aston Villa as Martinelli returned in place of Eddie Nketiah.
Thomas Partey was fit enough for a late substitute appearance on his return from injury while James Maddison missed out entirely for Leicester due to his continuing knee trouble.
Arsenal started well and were dominant in the opening stages, with a fine Leandro Trossard strike seemingly giving them the lead just before the half-hour mark.
The Belgium forward collected the ball on the edge of the box and curled home a fine effort only to see it ruled out by VAR for a Ben White foul on Danny Ward in the build-up.
Leicester had the ball in the net moments later but it was a more clear-cut decision for the officials to chalk it off for an obvious offside against Kelechi Iheanacho.
The away side had dominated possession in a goalless first half but it did not take long for them to break the deadlock following the restart.
The second half was not a minute old when Trossard’s pass through the legs of Harry Souttar picked out Martinelli, who finished well from an acute angle.
The Brazil forward required lengthy treatment having been trod on by Leicester skipper Wilfred Ndidi as he tucked away the opener but was able to continue.
Leicester almost responded in kind with Tete just inches away from turning home a Harvey Barnes cross to the back post.
Bukayo Saka bundled home a close-range effort that was ruled out as Martinelli had been marginally offside as he played the ball to the England forward.
Zinchenko then stung the palms of Ward as Arsenal chased a second but, as the half wore on, the hosts sensed a point could be in the offing.
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall arrowed just wide of Aaron Ramsdale’s right-hand post as Jamie Vardy – with 11 goals in his previous 15 appearances against Arsenal – replaced Iheanacho.
The visitors, though, stemmed any late Leicester pressure to claim an 18th league win of the campaign and remain on course for a first title in 19 years.
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