Arsenal win incredible Premier League opener

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Lacazette celebrates scoring Arsenal's opener. AFP

Arsenal win incredible Premier League opener

Tom Smith by Tom Smith @besoccer_com - 0 +13k

Two late goals from Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud secured a 4-3 win against Leicester in the opening fixture of the 2017/18 Premier League campaign.

Arsenal had not met the Premier League season’s opening game with huge success in recent years. The Gunners narrow victory against Crystal Palace in 2014 was their only win on opening day fixtures since the 2009/10 campaign. Leicester, on the other hand, were looking end their Arsenal hoodoo and record their first win over the North London side since 1983.

The game got off to a flying start with Arsenal scoring after 2 minutes. Mohamed Elneny delivered an inviting ball into the Leicester penalty area and new boy Alexandre Lacazette showed his killer instinct to perfectly place a header into the bottom left corner of Kasper Schmeichel’s goal.

The Emirates crowd barely had time to breathe before Leicester were level. Harry Maguire did well to reach a deep cross and with Petr Cech in no-man's-land, headed back across goal for Shinji Okazaki to head into the empty net.

Neither side had settled in the game and on the half hour mark Jamie Vardy had put the Foxes ahead. Sloppy play in the middle of the park from Arsenal allowed Marc Albrighton to pick the ball up on the left flank and deliver a dangerous low cross into the Arsenal box. Vardy showed why he was on Arsenal's radar in last year's transfer market and easily fired into the back of Cech's net.

The goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of Arsenal, but they found a way to level through Danny Welbeck with the last kick of the half. Intricate play on the edge of the box lead to Sead Kolasinac being played in behind the Foxes defence. The Bosnian calmly squared to Welbeck who stroked past Schmeichel.

The game continued at its same frantic pace after the break and Leicester were ahead again on 56 minutes. Riyad Mahrez delivered a corner to the near post and Vardy glanced his header comfortably past Cech to bag his second of the game.

Arsenal responded well, with Hector Bellerin having the next major chance of the game. Welbeck played a delightful through ball for the Spaniard in behind the Leicester back line and he found himself one on one with Schmeichel. The full-back unleashed a strike straight at the Foxes keeper but should have squared to Lacazette who was ready and waiting for a tap in.

Arsene Wenger was forced to react and brought on Ramsey and Giroud after 66 minutes. Ramsey nearly made an immediate impact as he made one of his bursting runs into the box to get on the end of Lacazette's cross. Unfortunatley for the Gunners he headed agonisingly wide from eight yards.

With 10 minutes to go, time was running out for Arsenal and Wenger’s men were looking desperate. A hopeful ball was floated in to the far post where Ramsey expertly controlled and managed to toe poke beyond Schmeichel.

Just two minutes later Granit Xhaka delivered a corner towards Giroud and the Frenchman did incredibly well get his header on target. The ball came off the underside of the bar to just about cross the line and send the Emirates crowd into delirium.

Arsenal managed to close out the exhilarating game to earn their first three point of the season.

 

Tom Smith

Tom Smith

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