Leicester City 0 Arsenal 1

Gabriel Martinelli’s goal was enough to extend Arsenal’s lead at the top of the Premier League with a hard-fought win at Leicester City. The Brazilian struck in the first minute of the second half, latching on to a deft pass from Leandro Trossard to roll his shot past Danny Ward. Trossard had a fine first-half goal disallowed after Arsenal’s Ben White held Ward in the build-up. Arsenal lead Manchester City by five points before Pep Guardiola’s side face Bournemouth in Saturday’s 17:30 GMT kick-off. Leicester, who remain 14th, were lacklustre although Kelechi Iheanacho had a goal flagged for offside shortly after Trossard’s disallowed effort and Anthony Dewsbury-Hall curled a shot just wide in the second half.

Arsenal’s recent league wobble, which saw Arteta’s side drop seven points from a possible nine, may be behind them but they struggled to hit their fluent best at King Power Stadium. Mikel Arteta’s side dominated possession in the early stages and seemed to have hit their stride when the game’s first controversial moment occurred. Trossard’s brilliant curling shot from outside the area was initially given as a goal, but referee Craig Pawson overturned it for sustained holding after consulting the video assistant referee. Arsenal’s Ben White had his left arm around Ward’s right as the ball came over at a corner, while White and Ashley Barnes also appeared to collide during the same incident.

Arsenal’s sense of injustice increased a few minutes later when their claims for a penalty, after Bukayo Saka tangled with Harry Souttar, were waved away by Pawson. Martinelli grabbed his ninth goal of the league season just 51 seconds into the second half when he calmly stroked the ball past Ward, sustaining a painful blow to the right leg when Wilfred Ndidi accidentally trod on him in the process of scoring. Saka also had a goal ruled out when Martinelli was flagged for offside, but Arsenal struggled to impose themselves as the second half progressed. Oleksandr Zinchenko, given the captain’s armband by his club as a mark of respect in the week of the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of his native Ukraine, came close to a second goal in as many games when Ward pushed away the defender’s curling shot.

After this win and victory at Aston Villa a week ago, Arsenal now have the chance to make the most of home advantage against opposition in the lower reaches of the table, as they face Everton on Wednesday and Bournemouth next Saturday.

Stuck In The 90s

What do you think it would be like to live in the past? What year would you choose?

I have lived in the past since I am 46 and was born in 1976. But I think the 1990s were the bomb and a great time to live through as a kid. When 1990 came around I was 13 and 7 months away from turning 14. I remember so much from that decade from the age of 13 to 23. And it was a fun decade, with so many great things that happened and also some really bad times as well. But overall I think it was a great period to live through and experience. Much like the awesomeness of the 60s, the 70s & the 80s before them.

The music we had was so great. Pop, rock, metal, grunge bands all delivered great albums throughout the decade. Many legendary bands came out in the 90s like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice In Chains. So much great music. 90, 91, 92 & 93 are according to me some of the best years for rock music in general just because of the sheer amount of great songs and excellent albums to be released in those 4 years. Metallica, Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Guns n Roses etc were all on top form. Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, Rush, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and others had some awesome music too.

The beginning of the 90s were when I got introduced to cable tv with the rest of India and I loved it. Spent many hours on a weekly basis watching lots of tv shows, music videos and movies. Sports events too. Oh and 3 World Cups as well! I prefer life in the 90s if only we had high speed broadband during those years. Spend a lot of time with my friends and cousins. Brought home a puppy who would steal my heart and then break it 11 years later when she passed away. Fell in love and experienced sex for the first time in my life. It was all a fantastic time with some heartbreaks along the way.

Prompt from Lalilo February ’22 Writing Prompt Calendar at Lalilo