By Walter Broeckx
First of all a big sorry for the fact I couldn’t get my article on line. Murphy’s law was at work. As I opened my laptop just when the match started (had to do my theoretical and physical exam as a ref this afternoon and got home just in time – Oh I passed the tests. Both of them. ) I found out that my computer had taken this moment to do a major upgrade on what looked all and everything software wise. So I couldn’t do my usual typing during the match. And then…. I faced some internet problems at my side of the wire(less in fact) I couldn’t get on the site. If you read this… then the problems are solved. But a bit of a different match report as I typed it late.
A match that started at high pace from both teams. Vardy with an early opening but the returning Koscielny was there to put the ball in corner. Wes Morgan just missed a cross and the ball went wide.
Arsenal with most of the ball but not much openings. In fact a few times the chances were there to create a real chance but the final ball went missing. Bellerin with a good attack on the right but his cross was cut out by a defender and cleared for a corner.
For the rest many attempts from distance like a curling shot from The Ox. Right at the end Leicester came close when Vardy broke away but Cech was first on the ball. The Drinkwater went looking for a penalty by going down when Kos slid in. Kos made no contact with Drinkwater so Clattenburg was right to wave the claims away. 0-0 at half time.
The second half was very lively. Chances at both end of the field. Mendy injured himself when he cleared the ball and fell awkwardly on his own foot. Walcott just couldn’t find Bellerin on the overlap. Mahrez with a free kick that just went over the crossbar but Cech had it well covered.
Bellerin who attacked a lot on his flank with a volley shot from outside the penalty area but Smeichel could smother the shot. The Ox with a few runs but his engine was running out of fuel. Vardy on the end of a lost ball in the Arsenal half but Kos quickly enough to him to force his shot wide.
After 73 minutes Xhaka and Cazorla went off and Özil and Wilshere came on. Özil with a magical touch on the touchline but Walcott his shot was saved by Schmeichel. With 12 minutes to go Giroud came on for the exhausted Ox. Walcott escapes but Morgan with a last ditch tackle to divert the shot in to a corner.
Özil with a cross from the left flank but a defender half blocking the cross and Schmeichel can catch the ball. Both teams looking to win the match and both trying to get forward. Musa went down in the penalty area under a challenge from Bellerin. But after reviewing it 4-5 times I still can’t say if it was Musa who planted his foot to force contact of Bellerin making contact. Clattenburg goes for the sensible option in case of doubt and that is to not give it.
In extra time Mahrez suddenly in front of Cech but our keeper with a great block. A final free kick for Leicester leads to a free kick just outside the Arsenal penalty area. But the ball hits a Leicester player in offside and this was the final event in the match.
I think this match didn’t deserve a winner or a loser so the draw was a fair result. For me a great match of football with both teams trying to win it.
And I can live with a draw at the home of lasts years champions. With our key players slowly returning I am having a good feeling for the rest of the season.