Belfast Telegraph

Watch: Arsenal score goal of the season contender as Mesut Ozil inspires Gunners to reach a perfect 10

Arsenal 3 Leicester 1

Pulling strings: Alexandre Lacazette hails Mesut Ozil
Pulling strings: Alexandre Lacazette hails Mesut Ozil

By Mark Mann-Bryans

A sublime display from captain Mesut Ozil inspired Arsenal as they came from behind to beat Leicester 3-1 and extend their winning run to 10 games.

After a shaky start from the Gunners, Leicester took the lead through a Hector Bellerin own goal but Ozil - back in the side following a back spasm - turned home an equaliser on the stroke of half-time.

He was then heavily involved in two goals for substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - who had also netted twice off the bench at Fulham last time out - with Arsenal eventually running out 3-1 winners at the Emirates.

Head coach Unai Emery will be slightly concerned by the pedestrian nature of Arsenal's opening 40 minutes - but the Spaniard will be pleased to toast a seven-match Premier League winning streak which has taken his side to within two points of the top.

Bellerin said: "It was a difficult game and they put us in some trouble but we stood up and in the second half the football started flowing and we found space.

"We have players like Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and so it's easier for the goals to come.

"We work to be good from the start but if we keep playing the football we will get chances.

"Unai Emery has always been a coach who wants his full-backs to push forward and gives confidence to them and makes sure we have cover. It is important to have the confidence behind you."

While Arsenal were flat-footed from the off, the visitors started particularly brightly with Kelechi Iheanacho twice threatening in the opening exchanges.

Rob Holding, so impressive in the Arsenal defence in recent games, was struggling to contain the Nigeria international and was cautioned for pulling him back.

Leicester were incensed from the free-kick as referee Chris Kavanagh missed the ball clearly hit Holding on the hand as he cleared away from Wilfried Ndidi.

Bernd Leno then made a superb stop to keep out Harry Maguire.

The constant pressure soon paid off as Leicester took the lead as Ndidi fed Ben Chilwell and his pass deflected in off Bellerin, wrong-footing Leno.

Granit Xhaka's free-kick was then tipped over by Leicester skipper Kasper Schmeichel as Arsenal looked to respond immediately.

The visitors were unable to hold out until the interval as Ozil steered Bellerin's low cross past Schmeichel with aplomb.

The hosts were lifted by their leveller as the second half commenced, but Leicester came within inches of retaking the lead as Leno got nowhere near James Maddison's corner, which Ndidi thundered against the crossbar.

Emery introduced both Matteo Guendouzi and Aubameyang.

It took the Gabon striker less than two minutes to make the difference, sweeping home after Ozil's perfect pass allowed Bellerin to send in a low cross.

Ozil was again heavily involved as Arsenal scored their third, Aubameyang tucking home from in front of goal after a delicious pass from the German.

Ozil departed to a standing ovation, with Arsenal seeing out the game to take their winning streak into double figures ahead of Thursday's Europa League clash with Sporting Lisbon.

Arsenal: Leno, Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Lichtsteiner (Aubameyang, 61 mins), Torreira, Xhaka, Mkhitaryan (Guendouzi, 61 mins), Ozil (Ramsey, 80 mins), Iwobi, Lacazette.

Subs not used: Welbeck, Martinez, Medley, Smith-Rowe.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Amartey, Maguire, Evans, Ricardo Pereira (Ghezzal, 69 mins), Mendy, Ndidi, Chilwell, Maddison (Okazaki, 75 mins), Iheanacho (Albrighton, 61 mins), Vardy.

Subs not used: Soyuncu, Ward, Iborra, Fuchs.

Man of the Match: Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

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