Ramsdale Stars as Resurgent Arsenal Beat Leicester City
Aaron Ramsdale was the star of the early Saturday EPL kick of as Arsenal ran away with a 2-0 victory at Leicester City.
His purchase for over 30 million pounds drew criticism from fans but the 23-year is proving to be a shrewd buy by the much criticised duo of Mikel Arteta and Edu.
Ramsdale took his chance in the Carabao Cup and has since laid his hands on the number gloves at Arsenal over the error-prone Bernd Leno.
Even the England number one Jordan Pickford will be looking over his shoulders in the coming months.
It was 17-minutes of blistering form as the visitors produced 2-0 goals to stun the home crowd. It used to be Jamie Vardy’s turf, but the defence and heroic goalkeeping by the former Sheffield United man kept him at bay.
The visitors capitalised on a lacklustre start from the hosts to dominate the early exchanges and were rewarded with a two-goal lead inside 20 minutes.
Gabriel put the Gunners in front, climbing above several static Leicester defenders to head in from Bukayo Saka’s corner, while Emile Smith Rowe picked his spot when the ball broke to him after good work from Saka and Alexandre Lacazette.
Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale also produced several fine saves as Mikel Arteta’s side showed defensive resolve to record a seventh league game without defeat.
They climb from 10th to fifth in the table, level on points with fourth-placed West Ham, before Saturday’s other fixtures.
It was a disappointing afternoon for Leicester who remain in mid-table.
Brendan Rodgers’ side were roared on by an enthusiastic home crowd but struggled to find the rhythm and poise that helped them to successive victories over Manchester United and Brentford.
James Maddison’s curling free-kick just before the break brought an excellent save from Ramsdale but despite a significant improvement after the break they were unable to claw themselves back into the contest.
After starting the campaign with three consecutive defeats, which included a dismal display at Manchester City, Arsenal are beginning to look like a well-oiled machine.
Their fifth victory in seven matches has propelled them into the mix for European places and ensured any pressure on Arteta has eased.
This performance followed the template laid out against Aston Villa just over a week ago, with the Gunners setting a tempo that the hosts struggled to deal with early on.
Nuno Tavares charged forward from left-back while the likes of Saka, Smith Rowe and Thomas Partey largely controlled midfield.
England winger Saka was particularly impressive, dancing through the home defence within two minutes to almost lay on a chance for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and then contributing to both goals.
Arsenal’s resilience is also likely to have pleased their Spanish boss, with Ramsdale key to that.
Aside from denying Maddison, the former Sheffield United player made a superb save from Foxes substitute Ademola Lookman – although credit should also go to Ben White and Gabriel for a series of important clearances as Leicester pressed forward.
Rodgers’ side had all the momentum after the interval but Luke Thomas drove a good chance wide, while Jamie Vardy’s missed header summed up their day.
Player of the match