Arteta: Odegaard ‘terrific’ | Rodgers: Ramsdale England’s No 1

Mikel Arteta said Martin Odegaard was the embodiment of an Arsenal player after his “terrific” performance against Leicester.

The Norwegian continued his rich vein of form with another influential display as the Gunners overcame the Foxes 2-0 to move back into the top four.

Odegaard created six chances in the game, five of which came in the first half – the most chances created in the first half of a Premier League game by an Arsenal player since Mesut Ozil’s six against Everton in October 2017.

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“He was terrific again today, in every aspect of the game; what he had to do in defending, when we were high and deep; in build-up phases; in the final third, the way he understood and managed the game when he was needed,” Gunners boss Arteta said.

“He’s come a long way since his arrival, he is showing great maturity and responsibility on the pitch and he makes the other players better, I think.”

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Reaction from Thomas Partey and Odegaard after Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Leicester – the Norwegian says the Gunners are playing with a lot of confidence

Asked whether the initial £30million Arsenal paid Real Madrid to sign Odegaard permanently last summer represented a bargain, Arteta added: “I don’t know, it’s still a bit early to say that.

“We were certainly convinced he was a player that could fit in our clubs, in with our morals. He has every value that we want players to represent this club, and then he has the quality for what we want to do. We are really happy with him.”

Thomas Partey also drew praise from Arteta after his starring performance against the Foxes.

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Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal had to raise their performance from their win over Watford to be able to get a victory against a good Leicester side

The Ghana international put Arsenal ahead with an 11th-minute header and, after hitting the angle of post and bar with a shot, played a key role in the incident which led to the second-half penalty from which Alexandre Lacazette scored to seal all three points.

Arteta believes the 28-year-old midfielder – named Arsenal’s player of the month for the first time in February – is getting better all the time.

“He almost scored shooting, he had a great shot onto the crossbar, he was involved in both goals – the header he scored and the penalty as well – and the reaction when he had the shot,” Arteta added.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Arsenal’s win over Leicester in the Premier League.

“You could see he was voted player of the month last month and he’s come a long way, he has the consistency and the minutes, he understands what we want much better.

“I think his cohesion and understanding with the rest of the players is getting better and better and now it is about consistency and to keep doing it.”

Rodgers: Ramsdale England’s No 1

As composed as Arsenal were, the Gunners were still indebted to another inspired performance from goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

The 23-year-old pulled off a stunning save in the first half to prevent Harvey Barnes drawing Leicester level with a header, and Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers was left in no doubt Ramsdale is currently the best goalkeeper in the country.

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Ramsdale makes world-class stop to deny Barnes

“For me, he is the best English goalkeeper at the moment,” Rodgers said. “He is top. His progression since he came to Arsenal, a huge club with a different expectation how to play football, but he has dealt with that really well.

“He looks like he has grown into the club, he’s playing with a calmness; he was jumping about earlier in the season but now he’s got a real, nice calmness to his game.

“He plays well with his feet, but he makes saves. His save from Barnesy was a great save – the header looked in – and kept Arsenal in front.

“Having observed and watched the level of his game, he’s the best English goalkeeper at the moment. It’s a huge credit to him, he looks an outstanding goalkeeper.

“At the highest level you have to be comfortable with the ball as a goalkeeper, and he’s very good with his feet.”

Rodgers unhappy with Soyuncu penalty decision

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Brendan Rodgers felt the penalty decision given against Caglar Soyuncu in their defeat at Arsenal was soft and especially unfair when Leicester have been on the ‘wrong end’ of several VAR calls

For Arsenal’s second goal, Luke Thomas had seemingly saved the visitors from going 2-0 down when he hooked the ball off the line, but there was a VAR review for a handball by Caglar Soyuncu in the area which appeared to impede Partey’s close-range header before Thomas made his clearance.

After a lengthy check, the penalty was awarded and Lacazette fired the ball into the top corner to double his side’s lead, but Leicester boss Rodgers believes it was a harsh decision.

“I think the time it took to be awarded will probably tell you that it was harsh on to be honest,” the Foxes manager said.

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Brendan Rodgers was unhappy with the handball decision that was given against Caglar Soyuncu in Leicester’s 2-0 defeat at Arsenal. Is the Foxes manager right that it was a harsh decision?

“I think Caglar’s movement, it was a functional movement, it obviously touches his hand but it certainly wasn’t intentional and that was a huge disappointment for us in the game that we were well in.”

“We’ve seen it all season some of the decisions, and it’s part of the luck that has gone against us. It’s happened to us a number of times over the course of the season, but hugely frustrating.”

He added: “I think we’ve seen a lot of decisions – I’m not one to go on about the referees, I know it’s a really difficult job and I try to respect what they have to do, but there is a lot of inconsistency in it and some of the decisions of course end up costing you.”

Source : Sky Sports