Arsenal snatches 2-1 win from Leicester

Usually, matches between sides at the top of the table become drab, defensive-minded chess matches.

Every once in a while, though, two teams play at a level befitting their lofty credentials — leaving fans and neutrals alike breathless for 90 minutes.

Place Leicester’s trip to Arsenal on Valentine’s Day squarely in the latter category.

The Foxes entered the day with a five-point lead over Arsenal at the top of the Premier League table, but thanks to a Danny Welbeck strike in the fourth minute of stoppage time, the Gunners grabbed a 2-1 win to pull within two points of the league leaders.

It was the first appearance in an Arsenal shirt for Welbeck since April of last year, and did he ever make it count.

The goal, Welbeck’s first in league play since Dec. 2014, washed away a day’s worth of hard work for the Foxes, who squandered a 1-0 halftime lead. Leicester took that lead on a penalty late in the first half, converted by Jamie Vardy:

Things got a bit more difficult for Leicester early in the second half when Danny Simpson was sent off for yellow card accumulation:

That set the stage for some all-hands-to-the-pump defending from the Foxes, but Theo Walcott finally drew the Gunners level in the 70th minute:

It looked like Leicester would do enough to preserve the draw, but Marcin Wasilewski fouled Nacho Monreal deep into stoppage time, giving Arsenal a free kick that Mesut Özil and Welbeck would turn into the decisive goal.

Leicester will return to Premier League play at home against Norwich on Feb. 27 while Arsenal will visit Manchester United on Feb. 28.

About Randy Capps

South Carolina native, Fulham apologist, writer and sports fanatic.