Arsenal v Leicester: Here's how the Premier League opened with a stunner

Arsenal 4 Leicester 3

Olivier Giroud came off the bench to head home a late winner and seal three points for Arsenal in a topsy-turvy Premier League opener against Leicester.

The Gunners had won just one of their last seven opening day fixtures and looked destined to start another campaign slowly as the 2015-16 champions took the lead twice only to lose 4-3.

The night started perfectly for Arsenal as new signing Alexandre Lacazette marked his league debut with a goal after just 94 seconds, only for Shinji Okazaki to cancel it out inside three minutes.

Jamie Vardy then capitalised on awful defending to twice put the Foxes ahead either side of Danny Welbeck's equaliser before Arsene Wenger sent for the cavalry.

Substitute Aaron Ramsey rifled home from close range to level before Giroud - introduced alongside the Wales international - headed in an 85th-minute winner to settle a breathless encounter.

Tweet of the Match -

@piersmorgan: "#WengerOUT (took 28 minutes)" - Television presenter and outspoken Arsenal fan Piers Morgan needed less than half an hour to turn on Arsene Wenger.

Man of the match -

Jamie Vardy. The England striker could have been turning out for the home side had he opted to accept a move to the Emirates Stadium last summer.

He decided to stay put and showed that he has the class to once again enjoy a fruitful season in the Premier League with a potential World Cup place up for grabs.

Moment of the Match -

Lacazette's header inside two minutes was the joint-fastest opening goal to a Premier League season.

The Frenchman can certainly find the back of the net and his effort here led to an entertaining game, although the former Lyon man will be worried by what he saw at the other end of the pitch.

View from the bench -

Wenger had three first-choice central defenders missing and could do little to alter things as Nacho Monreal, Rob Holding and Sead Kolasinac struggled to co-ordinate.

The manager's second-half tactical tweak left plenty confused as he shifted to a 4-2-3-1 system with a right-back playing on the left, two left-backs at centre-half and a midfielder at right-back - but it worked as his two substitutes scored the vital goals that turned the game on its head.

Ratings -

Arsenal -

Petr Cech: 5/10

Sead Kolasinac: 5

Nacho Monreal: 5

Rob Holding: 5

Hector Bellerin: 5

Mohamed Elneny: 6

Granit Xhaka: 6

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 6

Mesut Ozil: 6

Danny Welbeck: 6

Alexandre Lacazette: 7

Substitutes -

Olivier Giroud (for Holding, 67): 7

Aaron Ramsey (for Elneny, 67): 7

Theo Walcott (for Welbeck, 75): 6

Leicester -

Kasper Schmeichel: 7

Danny Simpson: 6

Wes Morgan: 6

Harry Maguire: 7

Christian Fuchs: 6

Riyad Mahrez: 6

Wilfred Ndidi: 7

Matty James: 6

Marc Albrighton: 8

Shinji Okazaki: 7

Jamie Vardy: 9

Substitutes -

Daniel Amartey (for Okazaki, 72): 5

Kelechi Iheanacho (for James, 82): 5

Demarai Gray (for Albrighton, 88): 5

Who's up next?

Arsenal v Stoke (Premier League, August 19)

Leicester v Brighton (Premier League, August 19)

Full match report below:

Olivier Giroud came off the bench to head home a late winner and seal three points for Arsenal in a topsy-turvy Premier League opener against Leicester.

The Gunners had won just one of their last seven opening-day fixtures and looked destined to start another campaign slowly as the 2015-16 champions took the lead twice only to lose 4-3.

The night started perfectly for Arsenal as new signing Alexandre Lacazette marked his league debut with a goal after just 94 seconds, only for Shinji Okazaki to cancel it out three minutes later.

Jamie Vardy then capitalised on awful defending to twice put the Foxes ahead either side of Danny Welbeck's equaliser before Arsene Wenger sent on the cavalry.

Substitute Aaron Ramsey rifled home to level before Giroud - introduced alongside the Wales international - headed in an 85th-minute winner to settle a breathless encounter in Arsenal's favour.

Lacazette converted his first chance in the Premier League, heading home Mohamed Elneny's inch-perfect cross to send the home fans into raptures.

But Arsenal's defence, with essentially two full-backs playing in their back three, were soon caught out having been given a warning when want-away Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez volleyed wide.

Petr Cech was largely at fault, coming off his line but getting nowhere near Marc Albrighton's deep cross as Foxes debutant Harry Maguire headed back across goal for Okazaki to nod in.

Arsenal reacted well and started to box Leicester in, Welbeck seeing a shot blocked before he dallied on a later effort.

Sead Kolasinac marked his debut with a goal in the Community Shield and forced Kasper Schmeichel into a smart save here with a driven shot from just inside the box, but the Gunners again fell behind to Vardy's strike.

Elneny played a pass to Granit Xhaka who, with very little space, gave the ball away to Albrighton and the former Aston Villa man crossed for Vardy to tuck away his chance from close range.

Okazaki nearly made Arsenal's first half even more galling but he could only head narrowly wide with the home defence all over the place.

Arsenal wanted a penalty for handball against Wilfred Ndidi with referee Mike Dean unmoved, but the equaliser came on the stroke of half-time after Kolasinac unselfishly squared to Welbeck with the goal gaping.

Mahrez saw an effort tipped over by Cech as Leicester looked to regain their advantage - something they did from the resulting corner as Vardy, completely unmarked, headed home the Algerian's set-piece.

Schmeichel was alert to prevent Hector Bellerin finishing off a slick Arsenal attack before Ramsey headed inches wide with his first touch.

With time running out, Ramsey made sure he did not make the same mistake as he fired past Schmeichel from Xhaka's pass with eight minutes remaining. There was, however, a strong suspicion of handball by Ozil ahead of the corner that indirectly led to the goal.

Schmeichel's brilliant diving stop denied Lacazette a fourth but, from the corner that followed, Giroud headed home off the underside of the crossbar to seal a remarkable three points.


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