Regardless of the 95 odd minutes that ensued last night, if you can’t enjoy the fact that three points were secured and the team got back to winning ways with a win against Leicester, then you need to have a think about taking up something new to fill the void where football once was in your life. I’d suggest something a little safer on the old nerves. Maybe join a sewing club or something. Because despite all of the tension and frustration in a laboured performance against the basement boys of the Premier League, three points saw us leapfrog both the Spuds and United, albeit temporarily until they play Burnley at home tonight.

Seeing that Liverpool had beaten that lot down the road was a wonderful end to the evening for me, because in my mind, it effectively cancels out the North London Derby. As Winston Wolf would say…

“Like it never happened…”

I thought the ebb and flow of the game was effectively decided by the one goal that Leicester got in the second half. Up until that point we looked pretty comfortable. 2-0 up thanks to goals from Koscienly and Walcott, as the second half wore on, so too did the expectancy that we would get a third and put the game to bed. But the third never actually materialised. Instead, it was replaced by a Leicester goal that you could see visibly gave the Arsenal players the jitters. Yes Cambiasso handballed in the build up to the corner that led to the Krameric goal, but the passage of play when the goal was scored was entirely avoidable. We had ample chance to push out and even when the shot came in, Ospina would probably have expected the save one at his near post, but the goal gave Leicester hope.

Up until then, they had been content to play with a bank of about seven defenders in a line across their 18 yard box and hope that they can counter as Arsenal pushed forward for a third, which of course is exactly what we were doing. But with Walcott and Özil as the wide players, we were always going to look to play narrow and centrally and the net effect was that we often found ourselves running into blue shirted traffic for large parts of the game. Perhaps we have to give credit to under-fire Nigel Pearson, because he anticipated what Arsenal would look to do and countered it with three big centre halves who were more than happy to act as clobbermeisters against Alexis & co.

Of course Mike Jones had no intention of being anything other than his incompetent self. Robert Huth alone got away with three fouls in the first half where no warning was even offered. Mark Schwarzer was allowed to take as much time on goal kicks as he wanted, whilst both full backs for the foxes saw the leeway they were being given and decided that wild swings at both Bellerin and Özil in the first half were a good option, as Jones had no intention of punishing them. Even a late booking for Giroud for having the ball whacked at him from Schwarzer was baffling in the extreme. I tweeted last night that the ineptitude was positively Antony Taylorian in its magnitude of errors, yet I’d expect even Taylor would have been left scratching his head at the Giroud caution. Maybe.

Personally, I think Mike Riley needs to sweep the board clean and start again with referees, because this is becoming a weekly occurrence. And not just for Arsenal games.

From an individual perspective, I thought we again had a few concerns, not least defensively. Ospina – so calm and assured since grabbing his opportunity to start – seemed a bit flappy last night. He made a mini hash of a cross in the first half and got a touch of the Fabianski’s about him when rushing out to punch a couple of balls in during the second half. With an FA Cup game coming up at the weekend Wojciech will probably be wondering if there is a chink of light for him at the end of this benchy-looking tunnel, because for the first time Ospina looked a little rattled.

Bellerin too, might be looking over his shoulder at Chambers, because his performance looked a little bit ropey. Hey, the kids 19 so will always have inconsistencies, but with Chambers I’m sure chomping at the bit to get back in the team, this weekend could prove an opportunity for him. Bellerin seemed to be caught out of position a number of times yesterday and after Bentaleb had put in the winning goal at the weekend from his right hand side, I wonder if we’re starting to see a bit of confidence dropping?

Monreal had another good game though. He’s stringing quite a run together.

In midfield we again failed to be as dominant as we have been and Coquelin was ok, but didn’t seem his usual feisty self. He’s been snapping into tackles since coming back from Charlton on loan, but I didn’t see so much of that yesterday, but perhaps (hopefully) it’s just an ‘off game’ that he – as well as a few players – had yesterday.

Walcott got his goal, which was a tidy finish, but by and large he was very quiet and I keep thinking back to a conversation that Arseblog had with Tim Stillman about Walcott’s overall contribution to the team a few weeks ago. Theo now has four goals in four games and whilst that is fantastic to see, it doesn’t tell the full story of his performances. Yes, he offers more than Podolski who was just all end product and little more, but we are now at the stage where we’re asking “is that enough?”. I’m not so sure any more. Competition is dictating that players have to fight tooth and nail to keep their place. Just look at Nacho or Santi. Or look at another busy performance from the ever green Tomas Rosicky. He was busy all over the park, keeping the ball ticking over and trying to up the tempo all the time. But Theo had patches where he was very quiet. And then weren’t just small patches, they we five to 10 minute windows. With Welbeck sure to return to fuller fitness this week, you wonder if he might not be a more attractive option for Arsène.

Of course the slightly worrying parts of the evening, were injuries to Ramsey and a slight knock to Alexis, who came off for Giroud. The former looks like he’s set for another spell on the sidelines, which is a shame, but the latter we all have to pray will be ok. Thankfully we have 11 days until the next league game and I suspect Arsène will rest Alexis on Sunday when Middlesborough come to town.

There’s just one more player I wanted to mention before I toddle off for the day, which is Mesut Özil, who I thought was one of our better players on the pitch. With a deep and compact Leicester team determined not to give Arsenal any space in their defensive third, the need for a player who can see that threaded ‘eye of a needle’ pass was important and there were a few examples – particularly in the first half – where he demonstrated the value he adds against teams like that. It was his shot that led to Theo’s goal and he forced Schwarzer into a couple of good saves. At a time when many in the media question his overall contribution and value to a team, it’s important for us fans who watch the same team each week, to recognise a good display when we see one. He may have been a little less effective in the first half, but so was everyone in the team, as the mindset clearly shifted from racking up a cricket score to protecting a lead.

All in all, we’ve won the first of an absolutely crucial series of games over the next month. I remain convinced that the other teams around us will drop points, so if we can win games in all competitions between now and mid March, I think we’ll find ourselves a few points clear of our rivals and chasing down a cup (or two).