A Christian Fuchs own goal and Eddie Nketiah’s late strike settled what was an even Carabao Cup tie as Arsenal beat Leicester 2-0 to set up a potential fourth round tie with Liverpool.
The first goal came on 58 minutes for the Gunners as Nicolas Pepe’s strike hit the post and came back off Fuchs and into the net.
Ayoze Perez had Leicester’s best chance to equalise but could only head wide from Marc Albrighton’s whipped free-kick.
And the Foxes were punished when Nketiah poked home in injury time to see Arsenal progress to the fourth round, where they will play the winners of Thursday’s game between Lincoln City and Liverpool.
Here are five talking points from the encounter at the King Power Stadium…
1. Nelson dilemma continues
Twenty-year-old winger Nelson approached this match like a man with a point to prove.
The England U21 international managed 17 Premier League appearances last season, yet was left out of Arteta’s first two squads of the season and has been recently linked with a loan move before the end of the transfer window.
If there was any desire to throw his toys out of the pram it wasn’t evident this evening, yet in his performance we saw both the good and the bad of Nelson as he tried to convince Arteta of his worth.
On the one hand he constantly posed a threat, dribbling confidently and firing off a number of long-range curling efforts to test Leicester’s Danny Ward.
On the other hand he was greedy at times, and also should have done much better when presented with a golden opportunity on the half-hour mark which he screwed wide.
It was another up-and-down showing, and it remains to be seen if he has done enough to convince Arteta to keep him around this season.
2. Leno shows why he’s still No.1
With Emiliano Martinez having moved on, Bernd Leno’s position as Arsenal’s No.1 is assured, despite the impressive form of his former deputy while he was out injured.
If some Arsenal fans were questioning whether getting rid of the Argentinean was a good idea, Leno may have assured them tonight that he is still a more than capable goalkeeper.
The German shot-stopper looked assured all evening, making a number of accomplished saves and regularly barking out orders to his defenders.
This was his second clean sheet in his opening three appearances of the season, and the Gunners generally look like a much more solid defensive unit under Arteta than they have done in some time.
3. Saka impresses once more
What more can you say about Bukayo Saka?
The 19-year-old was lively yet again tonight, tearing down the left wing and constantly getting balls in the box.
The Gunners should have opened the scoring when he delivered a delicious cross after 20 minutes, but neither Eddie Nketiah nor Joe Willock could react quickly enough.
He also perhaps should have won a penalty when he advanced into the box to receive a Nketiah pass and was bundled over by Daniel Amartey, but the referee surprisingly waved play on.
Saka continued to be a menace in the second period, and it can surely only be a matter of time until he wins his first England call-up.
What a rise it has been in a relatively short time for the youngster.
4. Arsenal’s perfect start continues
A Community Shield victory, two wins out of two in the Premier League and safely through to the Carabao Cup fourth round.
It has not been a bad start to the season for the Gunners.
Just like the 2-1 triumph over West Ham on Saturday, this was a far from vintage display, but unlike in the past Arsenal found a way to win ugly, which will have pleased Arteta no end.
The result also sees Arteta continue his impressive performances in domestic cup competitions, with the Spanish manager unbeaten since he took over last December.
While the Carabao Cup is unlikely to be top of their priority list, another Wembley final is certainly not something Arteta would turn down, and the good times just appear to keep coming at the Emirates.
5. Maddison goalless again
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Despite having a number of opportunities, Leicester’s Maddison yet again failed to hit the back of the net as his goal drought continues.
His closest attempt saw him strike the post with a delightful curling effort in the first half, but once again it was just not his night as his worrying profligacy continues.
The attacking midfielder has not scored since New Year’s Day, and although he of course offers far more than just goals, his sudden lack of killer instinct in front of goal may come as a slight worry to his club manager Brendan Rodgers as well as England boss Gareth Southgate.
How Maddison could do with a morale-boosting goal when his side take on Manchester City on Sunday.
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