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Soccer-Arsenal overtakes Manchester United with a win over Leicester

Premier League - Arsenal vs Leicester City
Soccer Football – Premier League – Arsenal v Leicester City – Emirates Stadium, London, Britain – March 13, 2022 Arsenal’s Thomas Partey in action with Leicester City’s Harvey Barnes Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley USE ONLY

March 13, 2022

LONDON (Reuters) – Arsenal returned to the Premier League top four after goals from Thomas Partey and Alexandre Lacazette earned them a 2-0 home win over Leicester City on Sunday.

The win puts the Gunners a point ahead of Manchester United but crucially Mikel Arteta’s side have three games against their rivals for last place in the Champions League.

Arsenal have now won their last five games and a run of nine wins from their last eleven Premier League encounters has changed their season after a poor start to the season.

A return to the European elite after a five-year absence is now within reach if they can maintain solid form in their last 12 games.

“We have to be there, we should be there. Our history obliges us to be there, but we’re not there yet and there are still many games to play,” said Arteta, whose side host Liverpool on Wednesday.

“We have an excellent group of people at the club who believe in what we’re doing and then you have to convert performance into results. In the last few months we have been more consistent.”

Partey gave Arsenal the lead in the 11th minute with an easy, fleeting header near the post following a Gabriel Martinelli corner that was poorly defended by the Foxes.

The home side looked confident and creative, with Martin Odegaard impressive in midfield, but Leicester occasionally posed questions at the break.

Arsenal keeper Aaron Ramsdale made an excellent one-handed save to parry a Harvey Barnes header, but without the threat of injured Jamie Vardy, Leicester lacked penetrating power.

Arsenal’s second goal came after Kasper Schmeichel saved an Odegaard free-kick and Partey’s header was cleared off the line by Luke Thomas.

Video replay showed Leicester defender Caglar Soyuncu had a hand out for Partey’s header and after checking monitor referee Anthony Taylor, he pointed to the spot and Lacazette drilled the penalty into the roof of the net.

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers felt the decision was unfair.

“I’m disappointed with the penalty. That it was disappointing, I don’t know what else he could do. He moved but it touched his hand and it was an accident,” he said.

Rodgers said his team will now focus firmly on the Europa League, where they take on French club Rennes in the round of 16 on Thursday.

“We’re not picky about trophies as we only have the ones to play for. It’s a real focus for us but not taking anything away from the Premier League as we want to finish as high as possible,” he said.

Arsenal have 51 points from 26 games, United have 50 points from 29 and West Ham have 48 points from 29 games. Leicester are twelfth on 33 points.

(Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Toby Davis and Clare Fallon)

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