Tag: Theo Walcott

Premiership: Arsenal 2-1 Leicester

Arsenal moved back into the Barclays Premier League top four as they edged out bottom club Leicester 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners, beaten by Tottenham in the north London derby on Saturday, looked to be in control after first-half goals from Laurent Koscielny and Theo Walcott.

However, Croatia forward Andrej Kramaric netted his first Leicester goal after 61 minutes to reduce the deficit, while Arsene Wenger’s side survived some late pressure and some five minutes of stoppage time to secure victory which moves them back above Spurs and Manchester United, who play on Wednesday.

The result was harsh on Nigel Pearson’s side, showing plenty of industry for their under-fire manager, who came down from the director’s box to orchestrate the second-half recovery.

Leicester, winless in 16 games against Arsenal since November 1994, had enjoyed a promising start as a deflected effort from Riyad Mahrez flew across the Arsenal six-yard box.

There were alarm bells in the home penalty area again after 11 minutes when the Algerian forward burst clear down the right and fired a low shot through the legs of David Ospina, which flew just wide of the far post.

Arsenal slowly built some sustained possession, with fit again Alexis Sanchez central to their positive momentum.

In the 15th minute, Walcott latched onto a through pass from Mesut Ozil, but Foxes goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer was out quickly to make a smart block with his chest.

Ozil, fit again following nearly three months out with a knee injury, played a neat exchange with Sanchez at the edge of the Leicester box, before stepping inside and sending a toe-poke shot towards the bottom right corner, which Schwarzer palmed away at full stretch.

From the resulting corner, Arsenal took the lead after 27 minutes.

Ozil floated the ball towards the near post, where Koscielny got clear of his marker to fire past the keeper from point-blank range.

Leicester looked to regroup, and Mahrez curled a 20-yard effort wide after more patient build up from the Foxes, who had lost their last three Premier League matches.

Arsenal, though, doubled their lead in the 41st minute.

Ozil was given space some 25 yards out and drilled in a left-foot shot which Schwarzer could only parry.

The ball dropped to Walcott, who dispatched it on the volley back into the bottom left corner for a third goal in four games.

Arsenal felt they should have been awarded a penalty at the start of the second half when the ball clearly struck Leicester defender Danny Simpson on the arm from Sanchez’s pass, but referee Mike Jones was not convinced.

Leicester continued to look for a way back into the match, with an angled pass from Simpson picking out Matty James in the right side of the penalty area, but the midfielder could not bring the ball under control.

On the hour as former Arsenal defender Matthew Upson limped off, replaced by Marcin Wasilewski, Ospina got down quickly to beat away a low drive by Kramaric, whose cross was then headed over by Per Mertesacker.

Arsenal were punished for some slack defending from the corner as it bounced around a crowded penalty area before being buried into the bottom left corner by Kramaric for his first Leicester goal since a B£9million January move from Rijeka.

The Gunners looked to reassert themselves, as Santi Cazorla tested Schwarzer with an angled drive before, after 68 minutes, Sanchez was replaced by Olivier Giroud.

Mahrez curled a 20-yard effort inches wide before Leicester broke quickly again in the 71st minute, with Ospina just getting his fingers to a chip from Kramaric.

Arsenal had to replace substitute Aaron Ramsey, who had not been on the pitch for more than 10 minutes, when the Wales midfielder pulled up with what looked like a hamstring problem. Matheiu Flamini came on.

Leicester refused to lie down, but this time, there was to be no late capitulation from the Gunners, who host Middlesbrough in the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Arsenal 5-0 Aston Villa

Arsenal hit five goals in rout of Aston Villa, Santi Cazorla stars

Arsenal closed the gap on the top four of the Premier League as they romped to a 5-0 win over Aston Villa, whose goal drought continued at the Emirates Stadium.

Olivier Giroud put the Gunners ahead on eight minutes, latching onto a brilliant flick by Mesut Ozil.

Following an improved spell by Villa, whose last Premier League goal came against Manchester United on Dec. 20, Ozil doubled Arsenal’s lead early in the second half with another well-taken breakaway finish.

Theo Walcott scored his second in as many games to make it 3-0 on 63 minutes, with Santi Cazorla adding a fourth from the penalty spot before full-back Hector Bellerin rolled in his first senior Arsenal goal in stoppage time.

Arsenal, who head to Tottenham next weekend, started brightly as Aaron Ramsey fired wide from the edge of the Villa penalty area.

The visitors were cut open again on eight minutes as Arsenal took the lead. Ozil clipped an expert volleyed pass from the centre circle over the high Villa backline, which allowed Giroud to race clear.

The France forward kept his composure, carrying the ball into the penalty area as Jores Okore tried to get back to cover, before chipping an angled, left-foot shot across Brad Guzan and into the bottom right corner.

Arsenal remained on the offensive. Villa defender Ciaran Clark was alert to nod the ball behind after Laurent Koscielny’s header flew across the six-yard box towards Per Mertesacker at the far post.

Villa had settled into a spell of possession, without making progress in the final third, when Arsenal suddenly sprung into life again on 26 minutes.

Cazorla weaved to the edge of the Villa penalty area and sent a low shot goalwards, which beat Guzan but cannoned off the foot of the left-hand post.

Arsenal thought they had doubled their lead when Ozil exchanged passes with Cazorla in the right side of the penalty box before lashing the ball past Guzan. However, the assistant referee on the nearside raised his flag against the Spaniard, who looked level in the build-up.

Guzan then beat away Ramsey’s 18-yard snapshot.

On 41 minutes, Villa were close to breaking their goal drought when a bullet header from Andreas Weimann was saved brilliantly at point-blank range by David Ospina, again preferred to Wojciech Szczesny in the Arsenal goal.

Villa had, though, set an unwanted record of some 570 minutes without a league goal, which continued to rise as the Clock End ticked on into the second half.

After taking time to get into a rhythm again, Arsenal doubled their lead on 56 minutes.

Walcott broke down the right, feeding Giroud in the centre. The France forward laid the ball off to Ozil rampaging down the left.

The German took one touch to set himself at the edge of the penalty area, before clipping a left-foot finish into the bottom right corner with a finish of the highest order.

Arsenal were in cruise control, and went 3-0 ahead with another quality finish on 63 minutes.

Walcott collected a throw-out from Ospina, and darted forwards.

The England forward, who was out for the best part of a year with a knee injury, exchanged passes with Cazorla before taking the ball inside at the edge of the Villa penalty area and then dispatching it into the right corner.

Villa, just three points above the relegation zone, made a double change as Scott Sinclair, signed on loan from Manchester City, made his debut, with Gabby Agbonlahor also coming on as Tom Cleverley and Weimann went off.

Giroud’s flicked header hit the crossbar from a free-kick by Cazorla.

Arsenal were awarded a penalty on 75 minutes when Guzan upended substitute Chuba Akpom.

Cazorla struck his spot-kick down the middle of the goal, and although Guzan got a hand to the ball, he could not keep it out.

In stoppage-time, Guzan got down quickly to deny Akpom, before Bellerin stroked home a fifth from just outside the box, low into the far corner.

Read more at ESPN

FA Cup: Brighton 2-3 Arsenal

Arsenal beat Brighton as FA Cup holders march on

Arsenal held firm to see off Championship side Brighton & Hove Albion and book their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Arsenal took the lead inside two minutes with Theo Walcott rewarding Arsene Wenger’s faith with a fine goal as he controlled before turning to fire past goalkeeper David Stockdale.

Mesut Ozil, another player back in the starting lineup after injury, then slid home a deserved second to give the visitors a 2-0 lead going into the break.

Brighton were given hope five minutes into the second half when Chris O’Grady found space at the edge of the area to turn and fire past Wojciech Szczesny, but Arsenal restored their two-goal cushion within 10 minutes as Tomas Rosicky volleyed home.

Brighton, though, refused to be beaten, and Sam Baldock revived the home fans’ hopes with a dinked finish with around 15 minutes to play.

Alexis Sanchez came close for Arsenal when he came off the bench and hit the woodwork with a deflected free kick, but ultimately the Premier League side progressed with a 3-2 win.

Read more at ESPN