The Gunners’ bid for the top four is just about intact after Robert Huth’s late own goal gives the home side all three points
Related: Robert Huth’s own goal gives Arsenal welcome win over Leicester City
OK, we’re going to wrap this blog up now. Thanks for following along. Bye.
So Arsenal go into the derby on Sunday on the back of a narrow win. How about Spurs? Follow the last few minutes of their game against Palace here:
Related: Crystal Palace v Tottenham: Premier League – live!
Well, Arsenal got the victory they craved – just. It looked for all the world as though they were going to come up short, but then Nacho Monreal shot, Robert Huth lunged instinctively, and Arsenal got a goal in the most fortunate of circumstances. They didn’t play well, Arsenal, and Leicester probably deserved a point, but that’s football, I suppose. Arsenal’s bid for the top four is just about alive.
90 min +5 Huth is booked, and moments later is late on Alexis. No second yellow, though. Alexis is being a pain in the arse at the moment. Surely that must be time?
90 min +4 Panic stations in the Arsenal defence, and Okazaki is nearly in! He almost scrambled it home from three yards, but someone – Gabriel? – came up with a good block. A goal there and Alexis would have been in Arsene’s bad books.
90 min +3 Alexis, who was actually struck by that ball in the shoulder, and not his face, is booked. Which gives Leicester a free kick in a dangerous area.
90 min +2 Antics by the touchline as Alexis tries to stop Christian Fuchs taking a long throw. So Fuchs threw it straight at Alexis’s head, and Alexis went down clutching his face. All rather silly.
90 min Giroud fires it over the top. And the home fans have found their voice. Four minutes of stoppage time.
89 min That really was a goal out of the blue. Huth just moved his body slightly, and it took the perfect deflection as far as Arsenal were concerned. Monreal hit his shot well, but it was going miles wide. Relief all around the stadium.
87 min Arsenal, you jammy buggers! They were running out of ideas, and Monreal struck a volley that was going well wide, but it hit Huth in the chest, and spun beyond Schmeichel into the corner of the net! Terrible luck for Huth, and Arsenal have got out of jail.
Amazing! Out of nothing, Arsenal lead!
85 min Ozil’s still looking to prompt Arsenal forward, but there are so many blue shirts in the way. Still no clear opening for the Gunners.
84 min The whistle goes for pushing.
83 min Leicester have more or less given up trying to score. They’re happy with 0-0. Can Arsenal break down this wall of blue? Well-timed tackle from Ndidi to prevent Ozil getting in. Arsenal corner, though.
82 min In by Mahrez, but Cech claims with ease.
81 min Yellow card for Xhaka. And a good chance for Leicester from the free kick.
80 min Leicester deal easily with the free kick, and the groans grow louder.
79 min It looked like Koscielny hyper-extended his knee. But he’s continuing for now. Then Benalouane rakes his studs down Giroud’s back! He’s yellow-carded. That was naughty!
77 min There’s a growing frustration among the Arsenal fans. They just haven’t quite been at it tonight. And Okazaki with a chance! Some flabby Arsenal defending, and Okazaki went through with options to his left, but Gabriel did well to get back and block. Elsewhere, Koscielny is down, and he looks in trouble.
76 min Okazaki feeds Vardy in the box, but Vardy can’t quite sort his feet out, and the shot is disappointing. Straight through to Cech.
74 min Double change for the Gunners: Giroud and Ramsey on, Coquelin and Walcott off. Not a surprise those two have been replaced.
Here’s Hugh Molloy: “Wellbeck’s rippling muscles are an example of what a footballer can look like when they don’t actually play many games. Plenty of gym time for that lad.”
73 min Arsenal need to win tonight. But they’re still not quite at their best. Welbeck’s made a difference since coming on, though.
72 min Growing Arsenal pressure, but the Xhaka shoots from 35 yards, and it’s high and wide.
70 min Good run from Jamie Vardy, taking on Bellerin as Leicester looked to spring a counter-attack, but it ricochets off the Leicester player and it’s a goal kick. Unlucky.
69 min Shinji Okazaki is on for Leo Ulloa, who hasn’t seen much of the ball.
68 min And it’s the end of the night for Kieran Gibbs. Danny Welbeck is on, looking, with those rippling muscles, like Mr Universe. Wenger gestures that it’s back to a back four.
67 min Time’s ticking for the Arsenal. Looks like Danny Welbeck is being readied.
65 min Arsenal have made 549 passes to Leicester’s 255. But Leicester are still defending stoutly.
64 min Good run from Ozil, and he forces a corner after some panicked Leicester defending. Lifted in by Bellerin after the corner was taken short, but Koscielny heads straight at Schmeichel. There wasn’t enough pace on the cross.
63 min Arsenal could do with a change. Maybe a bit of Giroud?
61 min Another corner to Arsenal. Fuchs wins the first header and then Benalouane slams it clear.
58 min Xhaka shoots from long range, and it deflects off Huth, and Schmeichel does well to adjust his body and tip it behind.
57 min Bellerin, incidentally, played the final pass in that move. He’s been excellent tonight: this right-sided wing-back position seems to suit him.
55 min Huth makes a crucial block right at the last to prevent Alexis putting the finishing touches on a flowing Arsenal move. This game looks to be opening up a little.
53 min A long throw from Fuchs, and Ndidi wins the header, but he can’t get the power, and it dribbles through to Cech. But Leicester are looking a touch more positive in this second half.
51 min Fuchs absolutely clatters Walcott from behind in the centre circle, and is deservedly booked. That was absurdly unsophisticated.
49 min If I were a Leicester fan, I’d fancy a bit of Demarai Gray in this second half. There’s certainly some space to exploit on the counter-attack.
47 min A little more progressive from Leicester, but Vardy can’t link up with Ulloa, and the chance is lost.
46 min We’re back, and both sides are unchanged. I think.
Good early play from Bellerin, and he forces a corner, although it could have been more had an Arsenal player made a positive run. Schmeichel plucks Ozil’s corner out of the air.
Reasonably dreary, but both sides should be happy enough. Leicester have been content to sit back and defend, and haven’t really threatened, that Mahrez chance aside, and although Arsenal have flickered, they’ve dominated possession, and there were signs of better things towards the end of the first half.
See you for more in 15 minutes.
That’s the whistle.
45 min Alexis rattles the crossbar! He’s been poor in this first half, but that was terrific: a burst of acceleration to drive inside Simpson and crash a shot that had Schmeichel beaten. So unlucky. That’s what we want to see!
43 min Coquelin gives it to Albrighton, and another Arsenal move breaks down.
Here’s Mike Nichols: “Lukewarm take: for a guy who wants £250,000 a week, Alexis can be awfully careless with the football. Ridiculously athletic, never-ending motor, fine scorer, turns over two out of every five passes.”
41 min Arsenal are completely dominant in possession. But they haven’t created too much, and Walcott opts to lay it off when he had the chance to shoot. It comes to nothing.
39 min Unlucky Mahrez. He picked it up on the left side, completely skinned Gabriel and fired a shot just wide of Cech’s near post. Cech probably had it covered, but it was nice play from the Algerian nonetheless.
38 min Danny Simpson receives the game’s first yellow card for body-checking Bellerin and preventing an Arsenal counter-attack.
37 min Groans all round as Coquelin drills it straight out play. Bring back John Jensen!
35 min Alexis goes down in the box after contact from Benalouane, and he wants a penalty, but the flag had already gone up for offside.
33 min Leicester can’t really get anything going in attack. Ulloa brings to mind that old line about the boxer Joe Bugner: “He had the body of a Greek statue, but with fewer moves.”
31 min Coquelin, of all people, is offside, and Leicester can take a breather.
Here’s William Hargreaves: “I hear what Mr Day says, but to be fair to Mr Granit, I think he’s there for distribution more than interception or challenging. Having said that, Kante is a revelation and would be wanted by any team, I’d have thought: certainly an upgrade on Coquelin. No doubt he should have been pursued more vigorously last summer. Time for a recruitment overhaul at AFC, I think.”
30 min Bellerin goes down the right flank again and forces a corner. Again, it was Ozil’s pass to get him in. Alexis, by contrast, keeps giving it away.
28 min Top defending from Fuchs to stop Monreal getting on the edge of the Ozil’s corner. Excellent from the Austrian.
27 min Now Walcott comes alive, and forces a fine stop from Schmeichel! Some clean footwork in the box, and he stabbed it towards goal, but Schmeichel did well to get down and tip it behind.
25 min It’s not happening for Arsenal. They’re missing Giroud, in my stupid opinion – they need someone to just stand against the Leicester centre-backs and occupy them. Walcott’s barely had a touch.
24 min Gibbs tries to weave his way through, but Leicester have erected a big blue wall, metaphorically, and it comes to naught. It’s all a bit intricate from Arsenal at the moment.
22 min Oh, what a save by Cech from Mahrez! A long throw by Fuchs wasn’t defended by Arsenal, and it fell to Mahrez, who thrashed it towards goal, but Cech palmed it over the bar! An excellent reaction stop. Either side of him and it’d be 1-0 Leicester.
20 min Leicester are sitting rather deep. Arsenal have control in possession.
Here’s JR in Illinois: “Hey Tim, with all three games available to watch I have chosen to watch the only game there’s no MBM for: the Mike Dean game, also known as the Tees-Wear Derby. I’m not even a fan of either team. Does that qualify me as a hipster? Or some kind of deviant?
Sunderland v Boro on Wednesday is going to be the Derby Of Infinite Sadness.
18 min Xhaka shoots miles over the bar from 25 yards. On that topic, here’s Joseph Day: “Xhaka is a £35m waste. He is clumsy and makes stupid challenges. As opposed to Kante, who has been a key, energetic player in the Chelsea title-winning team this season.”
16 min Nothing comes of the corner, but that was a better period of play from the home side.
15 min Excellent ball from Xhaka to slice open the Leicester defence, and Gibbs was free on the left, but no Arsenal player attacked his cross. In the second sequence, Coquelin tests Schmeichel with a fizzer, and the keeper pushes it behind for a corner.
13 min Not much happening, to be honest. Arsenal look a little subdued.
10 min It’s been a decent opening 10 minutes from Leicester. Arsenal haven’t created a chance yet.
8 min A decent Arsenal move, but Walcott, who looks to be Arsenal’s furthest forward player, is offside.
7 min Vardy shoots wide! Another free kick that was wasted by Albrighton, but then Sanchez gave it away with a sloppy flick, and Albrighton seized upon it, finding Vardy in the box, but Vardy couldn’t find the finish! It was on his left foot, but he might have hit the target then.
6 min It’s beena slowish start. Leicester happy to sit deep. But the Foxes win a free kick on the left, and this is a chance to put the ball in the box, but Albrighton takes it short to Fuchs, and completely cocks it up. It’s cleared, and that was a waste.
4 min Gibbs crosses from the left, and Fuchs heads clear. No one in a red and white shirt attacked it.
2 min Arsenal have lined up with three in defence: Gabriel, Koscielny and Monreal. Bellerin and Gibbs are wide, and Coquelin and Xhaka patrolling the midfield. Leicester in conventional 4-4-2.
1 min And we’re off! Arsenal in their usual red and white; Leicester in all blue. Mike Jones of Cheshire is our ref. But where in Cheshire?
OK, we’re nearly ready. The players are out on the pitch. A couple of minutes away.
Nice to see Hector Bellerin back in the Arsenal team. I never realised how good his English is! Plus his London accent is the best. On Nacho Monreal: “This guy can eat for like five people!” Straight outta Grange Hill.
Barcelona look as though they’re going three points clear at the top of La Liga: they’re 2-0 up at half-time against Osasuna. Paul Doyle has more:
Related: Barcelona v Osasuna: La Liga – live!
At least Arsenal have a good home record against Leicester:
9 – Arsenal have won each of their last nine Premier League home encounters with Leicester; the longest current run in the division. Rhythm.
There’s another big game in London tonight: Crystal Palace take on Tottenham at Selhurst Park. Scott Murray has all the action in that one:
Related: Crystal Palace v Tottenham: Premier League – live!
So, changes for Arsenal. Out go Holding, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud and Ramsey, and in come Walcott, Gibbs, Coquelin and Bellerin. It looks like three at the back with Monreal as the left-sided centre-back and Gibbs and Bellerin as the wing-backs, although I suppose they could revert to a four just as easily. Wes Morgan is missing for Leicester, so Robert Huth partners Yohan Benalouane, and Leo Ulloa replaces Shinji Okazaki up front.
Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka, Coquelin, Walcott, Ozil, Gibbs, Sanchez. Subs: Ramsey, Giroud, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Iwobi, Welbeck, Martinez, Elneny.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Benalouane, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez, Ndidi, Drinkwater, Albrighton, Ulloa, Vardy. Subs: Chilwell, Musa, King, Amartey, Okazaki, Zieler, Gray.
To bowdlerize Benjamin Franklin, in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes, and Arsenal finishing in the top four. Arsenal’s 20-year streak of finishing in that coveted slot has become a true Premier League axiom, but it looks in jeopardy after a rotten recent run that’s seen them lose five of their last nine league games.
The Gooners stand in seventh position in the Premier League, seven points behind Man City in fourth, albeit with a game in hand, and the door is rapidly closing on their league season. Their form has been really patchy, and M. Wenger is under as much pressure as anyone can remember, but his team showed resilience in beating Boro last week and Man City in the cup semi-final at the weekend, even if they did need some help from the linesman and the crossbar in Sunday’s game.
Tim will be here shortly, in the meantime here’s a little something on Alexis Sanchez’s future at Arsenal:
Arsène Wenger says there is no chance Alexis Sánchez will leave Arsenal this summer and said he is prepared to run the risk of losing the forward on a free transfer next year.
Sánchez is wanted by Chelsea and Manchester City, as well as other clubs in Europe, and his situation has parallels to that of the former Arsenal striker Robin van Persie in 2012.
Related: Arsène Wenger: Alexis Sánchez not for sale even if he rejects new Arsenal deal