Arsenal moved into the Premier League top four with a win that left bottom club Leicester City five points adrift of safety. Mesut Ozil whipped in a corner for Laurent Koscielny to tap in from close range and later saw a shot saved, allowing Theo Walcott to volley home. But the Foxes rallied as Andrej Kramaric scored a first goal in English football with a low second-half shot. He was also denied late on by keeper David Ospina as the Gunners held on.
Leicester boss Pearson deployed a rarely used back five to frustrate Arsenal and while his side threatened until the final whistle, the Gunners’ quality in the final third – not least from Ozil, who completed 88% of his passes – was telling. The German – making his 50th start – created an early opening for Walcott, saw a poked shot tipped wide and from the resulting corner, delivered for Koscielny to score his third goal of the season. The French defender had ample space to side-foot in, ensuring Pearson’s side remain on just four clean sheets this season – a league low. Alexis Sanchez – back after a hamstring injury – had shots blocked but when Ozil found the target from range, Mark Schwarzer parried and Walcott swept home a crisp first-time volley from 12 yards across the keeper. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger lost substitute Aaron Ramsey to injury after just nine minutes of his introduction as they stuttered through the second period and Kramaric will rue his chance to deliver the point his side’s endeavour arguably deserved.
He squeezed a shot through bodies and low into the net to give Leicester some hope and when sent clear late on by the impressive Riyad Mahrez – who went close four times on the night – could only chip into the hands of Ospina. The win sees Arsenal leapfrog Manchester United into 4th place while Tottenham slips to 6th after their loss to Liverpool.