By Rob Kelly
We delivered a commanding performance to come from a goal down to win on the road at Leicester City on Sunday.
After conceding early on when Youri Tielemans raced through to score, we kept our composure and worked our way back into the game when David Luiz headed home a well-worked free kick.
Alex Lacazette put us in the lead from the spot after we were awarded a penalty for handball on the stroke of half time, before the lively Nicolas Pepe wrapped up the scoring after the interval at the end of a flowing counter attack.
Having come through a physically and emotionally-demanding trip to Athens three days earlier, it was no surprise that Mikel Arteta made six changes to his side.
But we could barely have got off to a worse start when, with six minutes on the clock, Tielemans stole the ball away on the right touchline and raced in on goal. We stood off the Leicester midfielder, and he strode into the box and found the bottom corner.
But, as in Athens, we responded to adversity well and came straight back at the hosts and thought we had a penalty when Pepe was tripped, only for it to be adjudged to be outside the area after VAR intervened.
Harvey Barnes soon tested Bernd Leno with a long-range effort, but we were dominating possession and pushing the Foxes back deep into their own half.
Kieran Tierney soon set up Pepe for a chance which he couldn’t connect with properly in the area, before Willian – enjoying one of his best games in an Arsenal shirt – dragged another shot wide.
But we soon had our equaliser, and it was the Brazilian who supplied it as he curled in a free kick for his childhood friend, David Luiz, to head home.
It was no more than we deserved and things soon got even better when, moments before the interval, Willian’s surging run ended in a Pepe shot that was handled by Wilfied Ndidi in the box. After another VAR review, we were awarded the penalty and Lacazette coolly converted from the spot.
We continued to impress after the interval and extended our lead with a lightning-fast break involving Granit Xhaka, Nicolas Pepe and Martin Odegaard before Willian picked out Pepe for a tap-in.
Thomas Partey continued his return to fitness by stepping off the bench just after the hour mark, and we remained in control throughout the second half.
Tierney came close with a firm strike that flew wide, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – on as a late substitute – curled a shot just beyond the far post as we went in search of a fourth.
But in the end we had to settle for three goals, and three points to cap off a fine few days.
HOW IT HAPPENED
WHAT IT MEANS
After a hectic week of travel, we’re back at home next Saturday as Burnley visit Emirates Stadium, before we return to Athens to face Olympiacos in the Europa League last-16.
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