Arsenal registered their first away win against a top-three Premier League team for six years when they beat Leicester 3-1 on Sunday.
The Gunners were behind merely six minutes into the clash with the Foxes as Youri Tielemans fired low past Bernd Leno, but Mikel Arteta’s team fought back later in the half when a free-kick from Willian was met by the head of David Luiz and bypassed Kasper Schmeichel’s grip before Alexandre Lacazette converted a penalty in stoppage time.
Nicolas Pepe then rounded off the scoring in the second half as the visitors recorded their second win in six Premier League matches.
It is the first time in 15 attempts that the north London side has won away at a team that started the game in the top three of the English top-flight.
The last time they did so was in January 2015 when they beat Manchester City 2-0 when Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla scored to seal the three points for Arsene Wenger’s team.
Willian and David Luiz may have merged, for a Gunners goal for the first time, but the pair have linked up to find the net in the Premier League before when they were at Chelsea.
They are just the second duo to have scored Premier League goals for Arsenal and another team, following in the footsteps of John Hartson and Ian Wright, who did so at West Ham.
Arsenal has struggled for consistency under Arteta yet this was an exciting clue at what might be possible if they can find it – though the Spaniard still wants more from his senior players.
‘They are the ones that have to drive us forward and then we can have something with the young talented players – but it can’t be the opposite way around,’ he said. ‘They need to have leadership and be responsible.
‘I want to rotate and give chances to players for the way they train. You can use any words to motivate a player but in the end, they have to be on the field.’
Meanwhile, the physical strain of this unique season is beginning to take its toll. Barnes’ Leicester team-mate Jonny Evans – who will have a scan on calf problem – and Arsenal playmaker Emile Smith Rowe were also taken off due to injury and Leicester’s squad looks worryingly threadbare, with James Maddison one of many key men absent.
Jamie Vardy had 11 goals in his previous 12 league games against Arsenal but never threatened here.
If they are to maintain their top-four spot and avoid a repeat of last season’s near-miss, Leicester needs Vardy to improve quickly his current record of one goal in 12 matches.
Meanwhile, Pepe kept up his good form with his fifth goal in 18 matches in the league. He has now matched the tally he recorded in 31 appearances last season.
The Gunners retains another away game next Saturday when they take on Burnley, followed by the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie against Olympiacos. Three days later they will host north London rivals Tottenham.