Robert Huth’s late own goal spared Arsenal’s blushes as Arsene Wenger’s side claimed a vital three points in the race for the Premier League’s top four with a 1-0 win over Leicester City.
Nacho Monreal – who netted in Arsenal’s FA Cup semi-final victory over Manchester City last time out – continued his form in front of goal when his 86th-minute strike deflected in wickedly off Leicester’s German defender.
It was a relief for the home crowd following a lacklustre display from Wenger’s men, who, despite desperately needing to make up ground on the teams above them, had been found wanting throughout at Emirates Stadium.
Alexis Sanchez epitomised Arsenal’s performance with some sloppy touches and slack passing, though the former Barcelona winger still went closest for the hosts in a tepid first half – hitting the woodwork with a blistering strike on the stroke of half-time, with Riyad Mahrez having tested Petr Cech at the other end.
The Chile international is certain to come in for criticism after going down clutching his face in the final moments, a throw-in from close range having struck his shoulder.
Never in Wenger’s 20-year tenure have Arsenal, who face title-challenging Tottenham next, missed out on a Champions League qualification spot, but they looked set to be held by Leicester until, with just over four minutes remaining, Huth’s misfortune sealed the points.
The victory moves Arsenal up into sixth place, three points behind Manchester United and four adrift of fourth-placed City, with Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola’s sides facing each other on Thursday.
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