After losing Francis Coquelin to a red card and down 2-1, Arsenal looked more fraught than they’d ever been during their long, slow settling from Premier League favorites to title outsiders. Three weeks ago, they were two points behind Leicester, with ambitions to upset Barcelona in the Champions League. Coquelin’s red card was the lowest point in a trough wherein the Gunners have lost to Manchester United and Swansea in the league, and today it appeared they were headed for doom again.
And then, Alexis Sanchez woke up.
Alexis has Hector Bellerin to thank for that perfect pass, but the Chilean has a knack for scoring muscular goals like this one. One point from this game isn’t what Arsenal wanted, but it’s better than springboarding Spurs right back below Leicester.
As for Tottenham, they wasted an opportunity to all but kill Arsenal dead, but they’re still in better shape going forward. Their defense is still the best in the Premier League, despite a pair of fullbacks that can fly forward on any possession and smash in crosses. Harry Kane didn’t need much help from them or anyone to score the goal of the game to give Spurs the 2-1 lead.
A draw here means Leicester have another chance to distance themselves from the two North London Clubs. Leicester have a chance to go five points clear of Tottenham with nine games left, but the title race is by no stretch a done deal. In their last three games, the Foxes have to visit United and Chelsea, as well as host Everton. Leicester are now a more known quantity, and teams are no longer playing into their hands.
But all year they’ve defied what seemed like an inevitable drop, and there’s more evidence that this group is a truly elite team than reason to doubt them at this point. They’re not going to turn back into a pumpkin now, no matter what their transfer budget is. Thanks to Spurs and Arsenal cancelling each other out today, Leicester are now firmly the title favorites. In this Premier League title chase, however, that doesn’t mean much.
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