Arsenal v Leicester City

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Post-Match Report

Arsenal 4-3 Leicester City: How it happened

Leicester City -

Emirates Stadium
Premier League
Premier League
  Arsenal
      
                  Lacazette (2')
                   Welbeck (45')
                   Ramsey (82')
                   O. Giroud (85')
            
   crest
Arsenal
Lacazette (2')
Welbeck (45')
Ramsey (82')
O. Giroud (85')
4 3
  Leicester City
      
              S. Okazaki (5')
               J. Vardy (30'
               56')
          
   crest
Leicester City
S. Okazaki (5') J. Vardy (30' 56')

WHAT HAPPENED

Olivier Giroud headed a dramatic late winner as we came from behind to win a seven-goal thriller on the opening day of the season.

Alex Lacazette made a dream start to his Premier League career with a perfect header into the bottom corner after just 94 seconds from a measured Mohamed Elneny cross.

Alexandre Lacazette celebrates scoring just 94 seconds into his Premier League debut

That raised the roof at Emirates Stadium but things went sour as Leicester hit us with two sucker-punches.

Shinji Okazaki nodded in from close range after Harry Maguire kept the ball alive with a header across goal, and Jamie Vardy converted Marc Albrighton’s cross after we lost possession in our own half.

Danny Welbeck kept his head in front of goal to bundle in an equaliser on the stroke of half-time after good work from Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac, but Vardy restored Leicester’s lead with a header from a corner.

We turned it around in a frantic last 10 minutes. Aaron Ramsey hauled us level with a firm finish from Granit Xhaka’s delightful pass, and Giroud shrugged off his marker to power a header in off the crossbar.


AS IT HAPPENED

Click here to see how the game unfolded in our minute-by-minute feed.

WHAT IT MEANS

A promising pre-season was translated into Premier League points - just.

This fightback checked a run of one win in seven opening-day games, and it takes us to the top of the table. At least until everyone else plays over the weekend…

WHAT’S NEXT

We travel to Stoke City next Saturday and then stay on the road for an early-season trip to Anfield to face Liverpool.

LACA WATCH

Alex Lacazette shone on his Premier League debut - and not just with his finishing. 

The France international held the ball up well, showed quick feet and awareness in tight spaces and tracked back effectively to win possession. 

Here are his highlights:

2: What a start. Just 94 seconds have elapsed when Lacazette heads in Elneny’s cross

14: Wins back ball deep in Leicester territory. The ball is worked to Ozil and then to the Ox for a low shot that Schmeichel saves

19: A fine first touch takes him past Harry Maguire, and the defender fouls him to concede a free-kick 

23: Rob Holding misplaces a pass but Lacazette chases back to win the ball 

25: He flicks the ball to Ozil and spins into the box to receive the return pass… but is penalised for a push on Albrighton

45: Involved in our equaliser. Collects Ozil’s ball in a tight space and finds Kolasinac, who sets up Welbeck

59: First to react as Ox’s shot is parried by Schmeichel, but the flag is up

71: A delightful first touch to bring a long pass down, and a good pass to Ozil who scuffs his shot

79: Matty James tries to run the ball out of danger but Lacazette tracks him well and wins the ball back

84: A jinking run inside the box ends with a fierce shot… but Schmeichel saves brilliantly
 

Referee: Mike Dean
Attendance: 59387

The Breakdown

How our razor-sharp passing outfoxed Leicester

Olivier Giroud's powerful late header helped us kick off the new Premier League season with a fraught 4-3 victory against Leicester City on Friday.

Adrian Clarke analyses what went right, and what went wrong, against the Foxes, and also examines:

  • The importance of sharp passing in the final third
  • How a lack of concentration at set-pieces cost us
  • Sead Kolasinac’s role as an attacking threat
  • Alexandre Lacazette’s hard-working debut and goal

Click the 'Play' button above to watch the latest episode of 'The Breakdown' and the check out the following:

 

Video

Two touches, 94 seconds... and a debut goal

It took Alexandre Lacazette just two touches and 94 seconds to get off the mark in the Premier League as we beat Leicester City 4-3 on Friday.

The France international was picked to spearhead the attack and delivered almost instantly, finding space before calmly heading Mohamed Elneny's cross into the far corner.

But Lacazette did not end there, showing impressive work-rate and stamina as he led the line, and he played a part in Danny Welbeck's equaliser just before half-time.

Click the 'Play' button above to watch the best of his Premier League debut, and then check out the following:

News

How our bench has already changed games

We may only be two games into the new season, but the impact made by our bench has already been significant.

In the Community Shield, Sead Kolasinac came on for the injured Per Mertesacker and then scored the equaliser against Chelsea.

Five days later, it was Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud’s cameos that helped turn our Premier League opener against Leicester on its head.

“I think Oli showed [his importance] here,” Petr Cech said afterwards. “Aaron came on as a sub, he scored. Olivier came on as a sub, he scored. You need everybody. 

“In the Community Shield, I felt that the lads who came on really helped us. After Mertesacker got injured, Sead came on and today he had another good game, a strong game. 

“It’s good to see and as well we had some players still not available so it’s important to keep the squad together.

“I think the positive is that we managed to win the game [against Leicester]. We scored four goals, we were twice in a very difficult situation and we got out of that and that is very positive. 

“Obviously you don’t want to concede three goals, especially when you play at home because in this league you give yourself a mountain to climb. We need to do better but we have to be happy with a win.”

Video

Watch highlights from our opening-day win

Alexandre Lacazette wasted no time scoring his first Premier League goal, taking just 94 seconds to give us the lead in a hard-fought match that ended in a 4-3 win.

Shinji Okazaki equalised a few minutes later and Jamie Vardy put the visitors in front before Danny Welbeck put things level on the stroke of half-time.

Another Vardy goal early in the second half piled on the pressure, but goals from substitutes Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud in the final 10 minutes gave Arsenal a well-deserved three points.

You can press ‘Play’ to watch our 12-minute highlights package above, or our bitesize round-up below.

Want to see more? Then you can watch:

Interview

'Scoring with your first chance is pretty good'

"Yes, scoring on your debut with your first chance is pretty good going."
 

Alex Lacazette made an early bid for understatement of the season after making a dream start to his Premier League career on Friday.

The France international’s first touch in English football was the kick-off against Leicester. His second was a deft header from Mohamed Elneny’s cross that found the bottom corner. 

The fact that Lacazette’s third touch was also a kick-off - after Leicester promptly equalised - showed that we would have our work cut out on opening night. But late goals from Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud ensured a happy ending for the home fans, and our new striker.

“It was a rollercoaster ride but it went well,” said Lacazette. “We let in some goals we could have avoided but we'll work to ensure we don't concede any more like that during the season. Fortunately we ended the game on a high.

“I think it was still too early [to celebrate properly when I scored]. That's how it came about but I think it was perhaps too early to celebrate because we didn't know how the match was going to pan out.

“It was good. Obviously I'm still getting used to the English game, the positives and negatives, shall we say, but I'm learning. It's interesting. Let's say the referee tends to let play continue... and you only really understand that when you experience it. Not that it's a positive or a negative, it's just the way the game is and you get used to it. It's nice.

“It is different to the French league but I knew that already. It's up to me to adapt.”

Press conference

'This team's spirit is absolutely outstanding'

What a start.
 

We began our Premier League campaign by scoring twice in the final seven minutes to secure a thrilling 4-3 win over Leicester City on Friday night.

After the game, Arsène Wenger spoke to the media - and here’s how he saw the win: 

on the win - and if he expected it to come like that…
At some stage it didn’t look like that, no. Overall I must say we kept going and the spirit of the team was absolutely outstanding and overall you could say as well we were punished on every single mistake tonight by a Leicester team who was very efficient going forward. And you could see that this team has quality and is used to playing together, but [we had] 70 per cent possession with 27 shots on goal. Leicester had three shots on target and scored three goals, so that shows you how efficient they were, but overall I must say if you look at that from a neutral point of view, for the first game it was a top-quality match. You want the Premier League to be the best league in the world and I think it has to produce this kind of game to produce interest and quality. Even people will say we conceded three goals, yes, but we scored four as well and the game was of quality.

on the defence…
Well if you were a manager and you would be on the bench when you’re 3-2 down with 20 minutes to go, and you win 4-3, you’re more happy than concerned. I feel as well that the goals we conceded, we can work together to get rid of that because one was a corner, one was a ball we lost in the build up and the third goal was on a corner again, so we conceded two goals on corners. We were quite good last year on corners and overall I believe that with a bit of work we can get that out of the system.

on what’s changed with Arsenal…
Yes, of course, I am convinced that we won 10 of the last 11 games, and we won against Man City in the semi-final and the final against Chelsea. Overall I am convinced that the team is focused and I see that every day in training.

Interview

'Lacazette and Giroud give us variety in attack'

Arsene Wenger would prefer not to go through 38 games of that nature this season - but he doesn’t mind suffering with the fans if it ends in three points.
 

Olivier Giroud’s thumping header snatched a 4-3 win over Leicester City on the opening night of the campaign after Alex Lacazette’s header had given us the perfect start.

There were twists and turns in between those memorable moments and the boss was left to ruminate on the options we now have in the striking positions.

“We saw a lot of variety going forward,” Wenger told Arsenal Player. “I changed a lot during the game and overall I think the players adapted well to what I asked them to do in different positions. In the end the remarkable spirit of people like Olivier Giroud paid off again. 

“Alex Lacazette adapted well on the left when I put him there and Olivier through the middle. I think he [Alex] has also shown quality tonight and that he will be an important player for the team.

“For my heart, it’s better if I don’t [suffer like that]!” the boss went on. “But overall I liked the quality we produced and the spirit we have shown. It seemed a continuity of what we did at the end of last season. 

“It’s good for the players when you’re in a difficult situation that you can get around it and tonight we have shown that we have quality going forward. We had 27 shots, we had 70 per cent possession, we want to play football. 

“It would have been a shame to lose the game and I’m so pleased that we started with a win. We have seen again that it’s difficult to win in the Premier League. Everybody is organised and fit. For a first game, it was a cracker from the two teams.”
 

Interview

Xhaka - I’m glad I could make up for mistake

Granit Xhaka finished Friday night's 4-3 win over Leicester City with three points and two assists - but it wasn't all plain sailing for our Switzerland international.

By his own admission he was at fault for Leicester's second goal, but he bounced back to play a crucial role in our dramatic fightback, with his left foot setting up our third and fourth goals.

"It was important to win today," Xhaka told Arsenal Player. "We started very well, after we made mistakes and gave Leicester two goals. But we won, that’s important and we’ll keep working hard and looking forward.

"I think everybody gave their best. We were focused, our mentality is so strong and you could see that today. I’m happy for the team. We won today and the win was important for us.

"You see we have good players on the pitch and these players who can come off the bench. Aaron and Oli both scored, it’s important and shows that every player is ready and that’s important.

"The second goal for Leicester was my mistake but it was important that I kept working. I wasn’t nervous after the mistake - and the two assists were important for the team. I’m happy for the win."

Press conference

Wenger What Lacazette has shown me

It took Alexandre Lacazette just 94 seconds to score his first Premier League goal.

 

That goal capped a highly-encouraging league debut in which the France international threatened throughout.

Here’s what Arsène Wenger thought of Lacazette’s display against Leicester:

on Lacazette scoring so early on…
Lacazette is simple in every game. He is stronger since he has joined us, you know and even when I played Giroud through the middle and him on the left, he did very well on the left, so overall I think he adapts slowly to the way we want to play and he is a collective player and an intelligent player as well.

Interview

'Sead was great going forward, he's a beast!'

Sead Kolasinac has received plenty of praise over the last seven days - and Danny Welbeck was keen to highlight the Bosnian’s efforts in our 4-3 win over Leicester City.

The 24-year-old assisted Welbeck for his equaliser at the end of the first half, with the England international opening his account for the season.

Danny was quick to address Sead's performance after the whistle - and here is what he said:

on the game…
Obviously for the neutral it would’ve been a great start, just watching it from the outside. For us it was a bit disappointing with the goals that we’ve let in and we shouldn’t really be conceding in that way, but I think we showed great determination and great togetherness to get back into the game and we won it towards the end of the game.

on the adrenaline rush of scoring important goals…
I think you can see from the celebrations! Previously in the Premier League we’ve not got off to the best of starts, so it meant a lot for us to get a good start and get three points today. Obviously we can build on it from there.

on Lacazette…
You can see with his quality today on the pitch, how much of a great addition he will be to our squad and that’s something that we need at Arsenal to keep on improving and pushing us on to the next level.

on Kolasinac…
Sead, honestly, with his aggressiveness at the back and getting up towards the strikers, winning the ball back and breaking forward he was great for us. He’s like a beast on the pitch and when he got through he passed it to me!

on more comfortable victories coming when more players return to the team…
That’s what we’re aiming to do. We wanted to do that today, unfortunately that didn’t happen and it’s something where we can look back and analyse the game and see where we went wrong and improve on the situation.

Here's what Arsene Wenger had to say about Sead after our Community Shield victory

Interview

'I consider Arsenal my home and I give my all'

Mohamed Elneny had a broad smile on his face after what seemed like being 'one of those nights' brought us joy rather than frustration.

The Egypt international played his part as early as the 94th second with a pinpoint cross that Alex Lacazette headed home on his Premier League debut.

Elneny was withdrawn in the second half as Arsene Wenger threw on attacking players in a bid to turn the game around, and his relief was clear after the final whistle.

“Winning today was crucial after losing the opening fixture in many encounters during the past seasons,” said Elneny.

“After you win the first game in such style, this gives you such a push to continue the season in a very high spirit after turning tables around.

“It’s good for me to help the team to win and especially to assist a goal in today’s game and give all that you have for Arsenal.

“I consider Arsenal as my home,” added Elneny. “I give all that I have to play in the starting 11 with the team and I’ll always keep improving to keep my spot.

“I am happy with the boss’s confidence in my quality and I hope to deliver my best in all the games.”

Interview

Kolasinac on an 'emotional and dramatic' start

Sead Kolasinac is enjoying an impressive start to his Arsenal career.
 

Last weekend he headed home a Community Shield equaliser against Chelsea, and on Friday night he set up Danny Welbeck’s equaliser in our exhilarating 4-3 win over Leicester.

That was the Bosnia defender’s first taste of the Premier League - so what did he make of it?

on making his Premier League debut…
It was very emotional and very dramatic. I think we started well, went 1-0 up straightaway but then conceded. That was a blow but I think we had the game under control before we conceded the second, which was really annoying. We made it 2-2 before half-time and said then that if we could score soon after the break, we’d win the game. But then we conceded again and had a 10-minute phase after where things didn’t go so well. But then it was a game going at one goal. We made it 3-3 and managed to get the winner soon after. My first Premier League game was very emotional.

on his performance…
It was very emotional. I’m happy that I could help the team with an assist to make it 2-2. I think I had a solid game for my first appearance and I hope it goes on like that.

on differences between Bundesliga and Premier League…
I don’t like to make comparisons but I can say that here the pace of the game is a bit higher. It really goes from end to end and that’s impressive. It takes time to get used to it, and you need time to do it, but that will come from game to game.

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