Mikel Arteta previews Leicester City clash
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Arsenal icon Martin Keown has hailed centre-backs Gabriel Magalhaes and Ben White after the duo starred in their team’s 2-0 victory over Leicester City on Saturday. Keown made 403 appearances for the north Londoners during his playing days and knows what it takes to play the position so well.
Arsenal were in sparkling form at the King Power Stadium as Gabriel headed the visitors into the lead after just five minutes.
And the Gunners doubled their advantage after 18 minutes as Emile Smith Rowe finished well.
Leicester looked for a way back into the match as they peppered the visitors’ goal. But the hosts weren’t able to find a breakthrough as Arsenal held firm.
And Keown had special praise for Arteta’s centre-back pairing.
“They’ve been involved in the success since that heavy defeat to Man City,” Keown told BT Sport after the clash.
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“Gabriel, Ben White, forming a really good partnership – for me they’ve got everything.
“Gabriel, particularly, with balls in the box, the amount of times – I think he had the most clearances today. Really strong defensively.”
Arsenal have now won five of their last seven Premier League matches and moved up to fifth after their latest win.
The Gunners have also kept four clean sheets in their last seven games, with Gabriel and White lining up alongside each other in every one of those encounters.
Arteta’s side look like a completely different outfit to the one which suffered three consecutive defeats in August as they went into the first international break rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table.
But Arsenal were indebted to Aaron Ramsdale against Leicester as the keeper made eight saves to keep the hosts at bay.
The former Sheffield United shot-stopper produced the best moment of the match just before half time as he pulled off a wonder save to deny James Maddison from a free-kick.
And Keown admits he has been impressed with Ramsdale.
“You need a character,” Keown continued. “I was always fortunate to play with some fantastic goalkeepers.
“He looks like a real character. The fans now love him. It helps when you’re throwing shirts into the crowd but it certainly helps more when you’re pulling off outstanding saves as he did today.
“On average last year he made the second most saves last season and his average was four.
“He is happier being busy and the really classy goalkeepers have to do this once or twice in a game and that’s the next step as Arsenal progress and get better.
“But he had a lot to do today and Arsenal are thankful for that, that he was pulling off those saves. But in the future let’s minimise what the goalkeeper has to do.”
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