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12 August 2017

Arsenal 4 Leicester 3: Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey come off the bench to rescue Gunners in THRILLING Premier League opener after Jamie Vardy’s double shocks Emirates

ARSENAL started the season in THRILLING fashion as supersub Olivier Giroud secured a thrilling 4-3 victory over Leicester City.

He scored the fourth, the winner with five minutes left on the clock after being thrown on in desperation.

Arsenal 4-3 Leicester: Giroud saves the day after a Jamie Vardy double scares the Gunners in opening game of the season
Olivier Giroud came off the bench to secure Arsenal a thrilling 4-3 victory over Leicester
Olivier Giroud came off the bench to secure Arsenal a thrilling 4-3 victory over Leicester
Reuters
Fellow sub Aaron Ramsey had brought Arsenal level just minutes before the winner
Fellow sub Aaron Ramsey had brought Arsenal level just minutes before the winner
Getty

They had only just equalised on a chaotic night, coming back from 3-2 down to level through Aaron Ramsey.


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Debut-boy Alexandre Lacazette scored two minutes in and then watched in disbelief as Arsenal twice fell behind to this adventurous, outrageous Leicester side.

They equalised through Shinji Okazaki and then went ahead twice more through Jamie Vardy.

The Gunners went ahead to a moment of genuine quality, the reason Arsenal splashed the big summer cash to sign Lacazette from Lyon. His goal was clever, directing Mohamed Elneny’s teasing right wing cross beyond Kasper Schmeichel after 94 seconds.

Leicester responded, equalising after five minutes and then having the audacity to go in front.

Okazaki got the equaliser, heading into an empty net after Arsenal keeper Petr Cech went walkabout.

Jamie Vardy thought he had secured Leicester a stunning victory
Jamie Vardy thought he had secured Leicester a stunning victory
Reuters
Leicester's Jamie Vardy grabs a brace in strong start to the season against Arsenal
Everything looked to be going to plan for Arsenal as Alexandre Lacazette scored early doors
Everything looked to be going to plan for Arsenal as Alexandre Lacazette scored early doors
Reuters
Lacazette took less than two minutes to open his account for the Gunners
Lacazette took less than two minutes to open his account for the Gunners
Getty Images – Getty

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Marc Albrighton crossed from the left, new boy Harry Maguire headed back across goal and Okazaki rose unmarked to level. After that, Leicester shook the world.

Marc Albrighton swung in a cross from the left and Jamie Vardy lost the Arsenal defence to send a neat half-volley beyond Cech.

So far so good for the Foxes. That was until Arsenal moved through the gears, effortlessly increasing the pace deep into first half injury time.

But the lead last just 160 seconds as Shinji Okazaki levelled for Leicester
But the lead last just 160 seconds as Shinji Okazaki levelled for Leicester
News Group Newspapers Ltd
The veteran Japanese striker thundered home an equaliser with less than five minutes on the clock
The veteran Japanese striker thundered home an equaliser with less than five minutes on the clock
Getty
And it got even better for the Foxes when Vardy fired them ahead on 29 minutes
And it got even better for the Foxes when Vardy fired them ahead on 29 minutes
Reuters
Danny Welbeck managed to net an equaliser deep into first half stoppage time
Danny Welbeck managed to net an equaliser deep into first half stoppage time
News Group Newspapers Ltd

Mesut Ozil started the intricate move on the edge of the area, Lacazette squeezed the ball into the feet of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Welbeck finished it.

Incredulously, Leicester fancied another crack at it. Riyad Mahrez, the matchmaker in the title-winning season, sent in a corner from the left and Vardy rose into the night sky to flick a header
beyond Arsenal’s keeper.

But he optimism did not last long as Vardy stunned the Emirates by firing Leicester back ahead
But he optimism did not last long as Vardy stunned the Emirates by firing Leicester back ahead
Getty Images
Arsene Wenger could only watch on in despair... but his next move would change the game
Arsene Wenger could only watch on in despair… but his next move would change the game
News Group Newspapers Ltd
The Frenchman made a double sub as he introduced Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey into the action
The Frenchman made a double sub as he introduced Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey into the action
Reuters
Aaron Ramsey equalised with just seven minutes remaining
Aaron Ramsey equalised with just seven minutes remaining
Getty Images
And then Olivier Giroud turned the game on its head with the winner just five minutes from time
And then Olivier Giroud turned the game on its head with the winner just five minutes from time
Rex Features
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud comes off the bench to grab the late winner against Leicester

Wenger threw on substitutes, with Aaron Ramsey, Giroud and Theo Walcott all coming on for the final 20 minutes.

Incredibly they equalised, with Ramsey firing.

Two minutes later they had won it, with Giroud powering home Xhaka’s corner beyond Kasper Schmeichel.

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FACTS, STATS, GOALS & LOLS

  • After the fierce criticism he has received in the past, Arsenal fans were out in force to back manager Arsene Wenger ahead of the new campaign. The below supporter in particular was keen to show he still had faith in the veteran French coach.
  • And that positive feeling etched up a notch less than two minutes into the clash when Lacazette netted the opener.  He showed his deadliness by finding the net with his first shot in the English top-flight.
  • And he became the seventh member of an exclusive Gunners club with that strike – he is only the seventh man ever to bag on his Premier League debut for the club.
    This Arsenal fan was keen to show his support for Arsene Wenger pre-match
    This Arsenal fan was keen to show his support for Arsene Wenger pre-match
    Reuters
    That faith was rewarded when Alexandre Lacazette netted inside two minutes
    That faith was rewarded when Alexandre Lacazette netted inside two minutes
    News Group Newspapers Ltd
    Alexander Lacazette scores an amazing header on his Premier League debut for Arsenal against Leicester
  • But in typical Arsenal fashion, that joy quickly turned to despair. There was just 160 seconds between Lacazette’s goal and Shinji Okazaki’s equaliser.
  • Tempers were frayed after being pegged back so quickly. And Mesut Ozil came under fire from the home crowd. The German shanked a pass over the sideline, with his effort met by an angry shout, which was picked up on TV mics, of: “So f*****g s**t!” Seconds later Jamie Vardy fired Leicester ahead.
  • And of course, Wenger’s most vocal and biggest critic was keen to get in on the act. Just 28 minutes into the season and TV personality Piers Morgan was already calling for the Gunners boss to leave!
    Viewers on TV heard a foul-mouthed rant at Mesut Ozil prior to Jamie Vardys first goal after the German gave away the ball
    Viewers on TV heard a foul-mouthed rant at Mesut Ozil prior to Jamie Vardy's first goal after the German gave away the ball
    AFP

    Jamie Vardy has now scored five goals in his last five matches against the Gunners
    Jamie Vardy has now scored five goals in his last five matches against the Gunners
    News Group Newspapers Ltd
  • Danny Welbeck just loves netting against the Foxes. In their triumphant title-winning campaign he scored a late winner – and in the final seconds of the first half he fired his side level.
  • Arsenal tried to sign Vardy last summer. The England striker rejected the move to stay at the King Power. And maybe this is why. When he fired Leicester back in front after the restart, that was his fifth goal against his former suitors in his last five outings against the Gunners.
  • Maybe a back three is not the answer for Wenger. They conceded just 0.63 goals per game after the tactical switch last season. But this performance suggests that their boss may just have to go back to the drawing board.
    Arsene Wenger may have to rethink his decision to go with a three-man defence
    Arsene Wenger may have to rethink his decision to go with a three-man defence
    News Group Newspapers Ltd

    Olivier Girouds late winner was his 50th strike at the Emirates Stadium
    Olivier Giroud's late winner was his 50th strike at the Emirates Stadium
    Reuters
  • However, he must be praised for his double sub. His decision to bring on Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud completely changed the game and secured his men the points.
  • And if the night was not magic enough for Giroud, his strike was his 50th for the club at the Emirates. What a way to reach a half century!
  • While it was a dream debut for Lacazette, Leicester’s big summer striking buy had a night to forget. Kelechi Iheanacho was introduced as a sub on 82 minutes. 60 seconds later Ramsey levelled, and three minutes later the Foxes were behind. Hardly a Roy of the Rovers bow.

SOCIAL SAYS

WHAT THEY SAID

Arsenal hero Olivier Giroud: “Obviously I prefer to be on the pitch, but I try to help the team, to reach our target and tonight we needed the win.

“Everybody knows the first game is crucial for the confidence and to keep going.

“I am very pleased for the team, and hopefully we are going to carry on.”

Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy: “This has happened to us the last three seasons here. We put ourselves in a commanding position and a few lapses in concentration have cost us.

“We had quite a few chances. Unfortunately they didn’t go in but we can take a lot of positives.

“Scoring three goals away from home is a positive and we’ll get back on the training field to make sure we sort the problems out.”

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DREAM TEAM RATINGS

Arsenal: Cech 5, Holding 6, Monreal 7, Kolasinac 7, Bellerin 7, Elneny 6, Xhaka 8, Oxlade-Chamberlain 9, Ozil 7, Welbeck 7, Lacazette 8

Subs: Walcott 6, Ramsey 7, Giroud 7

Leicester: Schmeichel 6, Simpson 6, Morgan 5, Maguire 6, Fuchs 6, Mahrez 7, Ndidi 6, James 6, Albrighton 6, Okazaki 7, Vardy 8

Subs: Amartey 6, Iheanacho 5, Gray 5

Does Arsenal star Mesut Ozil handball it in the run up to Ramsey's equaliser against Leicester

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