Arsenal recorded their seventh league win on the spin as they came back from a goal down to defeat Leicester City in the final match of Gameweek 9 on Monday evening.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was named among the Arsenal substitutes for the second league match running but as was the case at Fulham in Gameweek 8, the Gabonese striker came off the bench to score a brace as Arsenal stepped up a gear in the second half.
There was an evening of frustration for owners of Alexandre Lacazette and James Maddison, however, with both players going within a whisker of delivering an attacking return but ultimately ending up blanking.
Hector Bellerin, owned by over 10% of Fantasy Premier League managers, had a mixed night as he registered two assists and a bonus point but also put past his own goalkeeper to give the Foxes the lead.
We round up all the goals, assists, Fantasy talking points and manager quotes from Arsenal’s tenth straight win in all competitions – plus an update on Jamie Vardy, who gingerly made his way from the field late in the match.
Arsenal 3-1 Leicester City
- Goals: Mesut Ozil (£8.3m), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10.7m) x2 | Hector Bellerin (£5.4m) own-goal
- Assists: Hector Bellerin x2, Mesut Ozil | Ben Chilwell (£5.0m)
Alexandre Lacazette (£9.7m) has made a habit of defying the underlying attacking statistics in recent weeks, but the opposite happened on Monday evening in north London.
Lacazette recorded more penalty box touches and attempts on goal than any other player at the Emirates, but it was not to be the French striker’s night as he blanked for the first time since Gameweek 2. Lacazette’s penalty box touch count was, in fact, the most that any FPL forward managed in this round of matches.
The nadir was a glorious opportunity that he wasted from three yards on 77 minutes, passing the ball back into Kasper Schmeichel‘s (£5.0m) arms when it looked easier to score.
Lacazette also spooned over from a low Alex Iwobi (£5.5m) cross and had an attempt blocked after a suicidal back pass from Nampalys Mendy (£4.5m).
Despite the blank, it was an encouraging evening for Lacazette’s owners in that the French forward was continually finding himself in goal-scoring positions and would on another night perhaps have had two or three goals.
James Maddison‘s (£7.0m) ever-growing number of Fantasy owners experienced a similarly vexing evening, with the Leicester midfielder blanking for the second week in a row but coming within inches of leaving the Emirates with two assists.
Both of the “big chances” that Maddison created were predictably from set-pieces: Harry Maguire (£5.5m) drawing a fine low save from Bernd Leno (£4.8m) in the first half before Wilfred Ndidi (£4.9m) nodded against the crossbar after the break.
A slight irritation for Maddison’s owners is that the summer signing from Norwich City once again failed to complete 90 minutes for the eighth time in nine league matches.
Leicester were the better of the two teams for much of the first half, with Kelechi Iheanacho (£5.9m) going close early on with a shot that deflected off Rob Holding‘s (£4.4m) back before the Foxes were denied a penalty when the Arsenal centre-back handled the ball.
Ben Chilwell (£5.0m), who going into this match had created as many chances as Benjamin Mendy (£6.3m) this season but without any reward, deservedly put his side in front on the half hour when his cross was deflected by Hector Bellerin (£5.4m) past the helpless Leno.
Bellerin made amends just before half-time by crossing for Mesut Ozil (£8.3m) to equalise, with that goal sparking a second-half revival from the hitherto pedestrian Gunners.
Ozil turned in a superb performance in the second 45 minutes, assisting Arsenal’s third goal and playing a key part in his side’s second.
The ex-Germany international has now delivered three double-digit hauls in his last four appearances and is another Arsenal player who is making a mockery of those of us who place our faith in underlying statistics: all three of Ozil’s shots from Gameweek 5 onwards have resulted in goals.
Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang (£10.7m) was the beneficiary of Ozil’s vision tonight. Named only as a substitute for the second league match in a row, Aubameyang came off the bench on the hour and scored twice within the next five minutes.
Both of the former Borussia Dortmund striker’s goals were simple tap-ins, the first from a Bellerin cross after the Spanish right-back had been set free by Ozil, and the second from the German schemer himself following a brilliant flowing Arsenal move.
It is difficult to know how to view Aubameyang as a Fantasy asset: seemingly uncertain of a starting berth but capable of doing damage off the bench, and having registered only six shots in the last four Gameweeks but scoring from five of them.
Unai Emery was asked if Arsenal’s brilliant third goal defined his philosophy:
It’s one way. For example, we watched the Watford game this morning and we repeated the second goal in this match. Starting with Leno, long ball which we won with the head with Danny (Welbeck) in the second action and then we are doing a speed attacking and also scoring.
This is another way. We can do a goal starting with all the passes and arriving in the box with these chances to score is very good because we can do one long pass.
Aaron Ramsey (£7.4m) didn’t enjoy the same good fortune as Aubameyang off the bench as he delivered a one-pointer for his 2.5% of FPL owners, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan (£6.9m) and Iwobi keeping their places in the starting XI either side of Lacazette.
Stephan Lichtsteiner (£4.6m) made his first Premier League start at left-back, with Emery revealing afterwards that Nacho Monreal (£5.5m) and Sead Kolasinac (£4.9m) were not risked due to minor injury problems:
Yesterday was a very bad day for our injuries because we lost two in the same position like Sead Kolasinac and Nacho Monreal. They were in training with a small problem, but we did the group for today with both but this morning the news is they are not good to play.
We had another player to help us like Lichtsteiner today and Xhaka – he played 30 minutes at left-back – but for us, for our balance it’s better Nacho or Sead are OK to play in this position and we are going to look at how they are for the next matches, but I hope they can play on Thursday or shortly afterwards.
Sokratis (£5.2m) also missed out, with Emery giving this update on the Greek centre-back:
Sokratis, he trained yesterday. I think he can stay for Thursday and we are going to look because now with a lot of matches in a few days it’s important the players get the good preparation.
Leicester had their brief own injury concern during the game, with Jamie Vardy (£9.0m) – who failed to have a single shot all night – heading straight down the tunnel as the match drew to a close.
Claude Puel alleviated any fitness worries, however, saying Vardy’s withdrawal was due to illness:
Jamie was ill and he could not come back in the game and we finished with 10 men. You need to speak with him but I think he felt this in the second half. He seems ok.
Puel also discussed his deployment of a 5-2-3 system (off the ball), which saw Daniel Amartey (£4.4m) move to centre-half, Ricardo Pereira (£5.1m) patrol the opposite flank to Chilwell, and Maddison join Vardy and Iheanacho in a three-man press from the front:
We tried another system. They played with desire, with quality, good concentration and we put this team under pressure. I think they were surprised with our system and we had a lot of chances and quality with our play on the ground.
It’s a shame we didn’t have success in making the difference more in the first half. We conceded free-kicks before half-time on the break. It’s a shame.
Arsenal XI (4-2-3-1): Leno; Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Lichtsteiner (Aubameyang 61′); Torreira, Xhaka; Mkhitaryan (Guendouzi 61′), Ozil (Ramsey 80′), Iwobi; Lacazette.
Leicester City XI (5-2-3): Schmeichel; Chilwell, Amartey, Maguire, Evans, Pereira (Ghezzal 69′); Ndidi, Mendy; Maddison (Okazaki 75′), Iheanacho (Albrighton 61′), Vardy.
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