Danny Welbeck, in his first action since last April, scored in the fifth minute of stoppage time to lead Arsenal to a 2-1 win over Leicester
Leicester City was seconds away from taking a hard-earned point at Arsenal while down a man, but heroics from an unlikely source kept Arsenal alive and kicking in the Premier League title race.
Danny Welbeck, playing in his first game since last April after a battle with injuries, came off the bench and scored on a header in the fifth minute of stoppage time, capping a dramatic comeback and giving Arsenal a 2-1 win over the league-leading Foxes. The win brings Arsenal within two points of Leicester at the top of the Premier League table, when it looked like the Gunners were going to have to settle for a point and a five-point deficit.
Welbeck's goal came off a free kick from Mesut Ozil following a foul from Marcin Wasilewski. The English forward leaped and glanced his header past Kasper Schmeichel, sending the Emirates Stadium faithful into a frenzy.
After dispatching Manchester City 3-1 at Etihad Stadium last week, Leicester had taken a lead through a Jamie Vardy penalty kick at the end of the first half.
Up until Vardy's goal, the game had been a story of the two goalkeepers, with Schmeichel's sweeper-keeper denial of Aaron Ramsey being matched by Petr Cech's point-blank save on Vardy and diving swipe to deny N'Golo Kante.
But after a no-call on a potential foul on Leicester's Wes Morgan in Arsenal's attacking third, Leicester countered with its lethal precision, and Vardy wound up being taken down by Nacho Monreal in the box. The English striker sent Cech the wrong way and buried his penalty, scoring his league-leading 19th goal in the 45th minute:
After Danny Simpson was sent off for his second yellow card, Arsenal equalized through substitute Theo Walcott. Olivier Giroud put a perfectly placed header in Walcott's path, and he finished with power to send relief through the stands at the Emirates in the 70th minute:
Giroud thought he'd won the match late for Arsenal, only to have Schmeichel come up with an incredible, one-handed, diving save to deny him. With a powerful shot coming through traffic, Schmeichel got his timing right to preserve the point. Or so he thought.
Welbeck's winner makes for a four-team charge to the finish, with Manchester City and Tottenham each able to pull within at least three points by day's end with their match in Manchester another battle of top-four teams.
The win also gives Arsenal a season sweep of Leicester, with the Gunners winning 5-2 earlier in the campaign to account for two of the Foxes' three losses.