Was Carlo Ancelotti on a scouting mission at the Emirates when Arsenal beat Leicester City?
The Premier League title race saw one of its biggest battles on Sunday afternoon at the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal beat Leicester City 2-1 to narrow the Foxes’ gap at the top to just two points. It was only a third loss of the season for the visitors but Claudio Ranieri has now lost to Arsene Wenger twice this season.
The two managers are battling it out to break the trend by winning the title. Wenger has not won the league title since his Invincibles won it in 2004 while Ranieri came second in that season with Chelsea.
However, there was one other manager at the Emirates who had won the title in 2010 with Chelsea in his very first season with the Blues. Carlo Ancelotti was in north London today to watch the clash between first and third as the Gunners took all three points and moved up to second.
Ancelotti is enjoying his year off after he was unceremoniously sacked by Real Madrid after a trophyless season in 2014/15 – without a replacement being named. It was a decision that left every fan scratching their heads but that is how club president Florentino Perez works.
He has since managed to get another club as Bayern Munich decided to replace the outgoing Pep Guardiola with the Italian manager. But was he simply enjoying the Premier League clash or was he possibly looking at signing some of the players on display?
Was Ancelotti at the Emirates on business or pleasure?
The first name that comes to mind is Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil. The German midfielder now has an astonishing 17 assists in the league this season – three short of Thierry Henry’s record of 20 in a single season. With 12 games to go, the record is definitely there to be his by May.
Recent reports in the media stated that Ozil had requested Arsenal for a transfer this summer. While it is only a rumour at this stage, it must also be said that the 27-year-old had left Real Madrid due to a lack of playing time under Ancelotti.
Yet, at the same time, Ozil has been one of few world class German players who managed to escape the Bavarian giants’ clutches. He rejected them in 2010 to join Real Madrid when Bayern are used to getting their way with German players (remember how they signed Mario Gotze from arch-rivals Borussia Dortmund).
Then there is the next best playmaker in the league – Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian midfielder is second on the list with 10 assists this season but he also has 14 goals. He fits the Bayern template of a highly technical player with an eye for goal and the ability to work with his teammates to win the ball back.
Whoever he was looking at, expect news this summer of possible bids from the Bundesliga giants. It is also quite likely that Ancelotti was just enjoying a good game on a chilly north London afternoon.