Sponsored
Football
Add news
News

Arteta gives himself a welcome Arsenal selection headache as gamble to rest players vs Leicester pays off

06

MIKEL ARTETA finally looks like he could be getting a tune out of Arsenal’s fringe players.

The Gunners have been so heavily reliant on captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and wonderkid winger Bukayo Saka throughout the season.

PA:Press Association
Nicolas Pepe proved his worth with a match-winning performance[/caption]

So Leicester must have been licking their lips when Arteta released his starting XI with Arsenal’s key duo rested on the bench.

And it seemed like the game was only going one way when Youri Tielemans breezed through to fire in the opener for the Foxes on six minutes.

Many would have anticipated Arsenal to collapse, cower in fear of a pasting while questioning when would be an acceptable time to bring on their talisman.

But just when they were needed the most, Arsenal’s back-up stars proved their worth to mount a superb comeback victory.

Nicolas Pepe, the club’s £72million signing, has done little to endear himself to the Arsenal faithful since his move in August 2019.

However today the Ivorian was unplayable out on the right and had a role in all three goals.

The first saw him win the free-kick with some great trickery that allowed David Luiz to head home the equaliser.

Pepe then won the penalty for Arsenal’s second when Wilfred Ndidi handled his shot in the penalty box as Alexandre Lacazette made no mistake from the spot.

AP:Associated Press
Mikel Arteta’s gamble to start Aubameyang on the bench paid off[/caption]
AP:Associated Press
Boss Mikel Arteta has given himself a welcome selection headache[/caption]

Remarkably it was the 25-year-old’s first league assist of the season at the 18th time of asking.

His performance deserved a goal and he duly delivered tapping home from close range.

It was the sort of performance that showed why Arsenal forked out such a high figure for him and now fans will be hoping for consistency to relieve the burden on Aubameyang’s shoulders.

Willian was another who finally played his part.

The Brazilian, who reportedly pockets a whopping £220,000-a-week, was doing little to earn his corn.

However, he looked bright and energetic out on the left and forged a solid understanding with Kieran Tierney.

Willian also assisted twice, including a peach of a cross for his compatriot Luiz to head home.

Even defender Pablo Mari was handed a rare start – just his seventh in the league in Arsenal colours.

He can be excused for lacking confidence as he looked out of position for Leicester’s opener.

But he grew into the contest alongside Luiz and kept the ruthless Jamie Vardy quiet throughout.

With Arsenal’s most likely way of qualifying for the Champions League through Europa success, it is vital the fringe players step up when called upon in the league.

They certainly did that today to leave Arteta with a welcome problem.

⚽ Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds

Загрузка...

Comments

Комментарии для сайта Cackle
Загрузка...

More news:

Read on Sportsweek.org:

Other sports

Ligue Europeen de Natation (LEN)
Colorado Skating Club
All-American Fencing Club