Monday 22 October 2018 10:04 pm

Arsenal 3-1 Leicester: Five things we learned as Ozil and Aubameyang lead Gunners to 10th straight win


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came off the bench to score twice in five minutes against Leicester and earn Arsenal a 10th straight win for the first time in 11 years.

After an even first half, Unai Emery’s substitutions helped the free-flowing Gunners hit their stride and make up for their still error-prone back line.

Read more: Five things we learned from the Premier League this weekend

The victory sent Arsenal past rivals Tottenham into fourth place in the Premier League.

Here’s what we learned from the entertaining end-to-end contest at the Emirates.

Mustafi and Holding still Arsenal’s Achilles heel

While the result was wholly positive, the first half was far from straightforward for the home side as Leicester roared out of the blocks.

Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding have not looked the most secure centre-back pairing this season and that theme continued, with looking shaky inside the opening 45 minutes.

Arsenal FC v Leicester City - Premier League
Rob Holding was shaky in the opening stages (Source: Getty)

It could have been worse than just shaky too with Holding’s flailing hand making contact with the ball above his head just 17 minutes in.

Had referee Chris Kavanagh deemed it handball, the 23-year-old would have conceded a penalty and picked up a second yellow card.

Maddison and Chilwell boosted by England call-ups

James Maddison and Ben Chilwell were a part of England’s most recent squad for the Nations Leagye matches against Croatia and Spain and both were full of confidence at the Emirates.

Maddison’s free-kick set up Harry Maguire for a free header which Bernd Leno did well to save, and it was his burst on the counter-attack which saw Granit Xhaka booked.

Meanwhile, it was Chilwell’s pace and perfect first touch which saw Hector Bellerin deflect into his own net to take a deserved 1-0 lead.

Bellerin’s game summed up by goals

Although the own goal was unfortunate, the match served as a perfect demonstration of Bellerin’s game – both good and bad.

The Arsenal right-back was skinned by Chilwell for the opener to emphasise his frailties inside his own box.

Hector Bellerin was excellent going forward, but showed his weakness in defending (Source: Getty)

To his credit, Bellerin was determined to make up for his mistake, racing forward at every opportunity on the overlap to fizz in crosses.

And it was his link up with Mesut Ozil which fashioned the German’s well-taken equaliser and his square pass which Aubameyang tapped in for 2-1.

Ozil performs with captain’s armband on

Ozil has been through a difficult period of late, with his international retirement prompting headlines worldwide.

But given the captain’s armband for the first time from the start of a Premier League game, he shone, producing a classic creative display.

The playmaker breezed around the pitch, knitting together play and directing traffic in the final third with effortless grace.

Arsenal FC v Leicester City - Premier League
Mesut Ozil was the stand-out player and was involved in each of Arsenal's three goals (Source: Getty)

He was involved in all three goals, scoring the first with a gorgeous side-footed cushioned finish off the inside of Kasper Schmeichel’s post, releasing Bellerin with a trademark defence-splitting through ball for the second and squaring for Aubemeyang to make it 3-1 after build-up with Alexandre Lacazette.

Ozil left the pitch to a standing ovation having reminded people just how good he can be when he is feeling the love.

Emery uses Aubameyang well again

While Ozil was arguably man of the match, it was Emery’s substitutions which ultimately saw Arsenal’s winning run continue.

The Spaniard brought on Aubameyang on 62 minutes in the last game against Fulham to devastating effect, with the forward scoring twice in a 5-1 thrashing, and he repeated the trick.

Aubameyang entered the pitch alongside Matteo Guendouzi in the 61st minute and by the 66th he had scored a brace of tap-ins to take his record to 21 goals in 22 Premier League games for the Gunners.

Arsenal fans often moan when the Gabonese is left on the bench, but he has become Emery’s dependable nuclear option.