Arsenal 2 Leicester City 1
( Koscielny 27, Walcott 41 Kramaric 61 )

Any thoughts on this being a mere cathartic remedy and a routine win over the Premier League’s bottom side and post Saturday’s North London derby loss were soon put into perspective. Arsenal were made to fight all the way for the win against a bright and enterprising Leicester City, who will have felt that they deserved to get something from the game. Laurent Koscielny soothed the frayed Emirates stadium faithful nerves with a well placed strike, and Arsenal doubled their lead four minutes before half time when Theo Walcott rammed home past Mark Schwarzer after Mesut Özil’s drive was spilled. Rather than feel sorry for themselves, especially in light of weekend headlines claiming the sacking of manager Nigel Pearson, Leicester halved the deficit when Andrej Kramaric’s low shot beat David Ospina at his near post. The visitors went in search of a leveller, but the Gunners held firm for the win which lifts them into fourth place for at least 24 hours.

The Gunners start wasn’t the most convincing, there seemed an air of concern in their game despite the return of Alexis Sanchez. Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud dropped to the bench with Tomas Rosicky getting a rare start.

But it was the Foxes who were first in attack. The tricky and skilful Riyad Mahrez saw an early shot deflected for a corner after just two minutes. Arsenal were not able to heed the warning of the Algerian front man who was surprised that his shot after thirteen minutes went through Ospina’s legs and then squirmed wide and away from the danger zone.

That passage of play stirred the Gunners attack. Ozil combined with Rosicky with Sanchez then feeding Ozil who found Walcott in the clear. The England striker looked to hit across Schwarzer’s body, but the big Australian ‘keeper stood strong to block with his chest.

Another neat Arsenal move, but once again a deep Leicester defensive line up to six in number at times looked to hold on. The ball however was worked to Ozil who tried a clever roll of the ball, which Schwarzer was forced to push away for a corner.

Ozil swung in a deep the resultant corner which eluded the Leicester defence but Koscielny was alert to the path of the ball, racing in to strike low past Schwarzer for the opener. Arsenal came looking for more immediately afterwards. Sanchez was crudely hacked down by Mathew Upson, and that seemed to wreck his confidence, despite his carrying on.

Yet, Leicester came again, with Mahrez working an opening but curling his effort wide after 38 minutes.

The players nerves were being transmitted to the terraces and the fans urged the Gunners forwards. Hector Bellerin won the ball as Leicester threatened to break. Cazorla took over feeding the ball to Ozil. The German struck a fierce drive which was too hot for Schwarzer, who could only parry. With perfect placement, Walcott blasted the loose ball past Schwarzer to double the Arsenal lead.

The Gunners momentum continued and when Cazorla was felled, Ozil struck a free kick which flew just wide of Schwarzer’s upright. Goal difference was vital and Arsenal could be up to third if they grabbed more goals. Strangely enough however it was the visitors who would turn up the heat at the Emirates.

Matty James slipped as he raced on with only Ospina ahead of him, and the. The Columbian keeper had to save from substitute Andy King with Per Mertesacker needed to head over his bar to clear.

Leicester’s goal had more than a hint of handball in the build up. Esteban Cambiasso appeared to handle in Gunners’ area before laying off the ball to Mahrez. His cross caused panic in the Arsenal rearguard who struggled to deal with the loose ball. Perfectly placed, Kramaric hit low with his left boot to score his first goal in the Premier League.

Cazorla responded for the Gunners with a shot which again proved too hot for Schwarzer. Giorud came on for Sanchez but it was Mahrez again who let fly after a run which went just wide of Ospina’s upright. Not for the first time, the Arsenal midfield was being overrun, and this despite Francis Coqulein having another good game.

Walcott made way for Ramsey to stop the City forays and help the defensive midfield. The former Wales Captain however picked up another apparent calf injury and had to be replaced himself by Mathieu Flamini. Still time for Krameric to try to chip Ospina, but the Arsenal ‘ keeper held firm, as did his side for a vital three points.