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Arsenal Win a Wild One on Opening Day

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Olivier Giroud Scores a dramatic late winner against Leicester

Western Sydney v Arsenal Photo by Zak Kaczmarek/Getty Images

Well...that’s one way to win on opening day. A crazy game sees Arsenal winning 4-3 over Leicester City. Both teams played fantastic and poorly throughout the 90 minutes, but Arsenal found just a bit more late, and an Olivier Giroud goal gave the Gunners all 3 points.

Lineups:

Match Notes

The new signing Alexandre Lacazette kicked off the party with his first Arsenal goal within 90 seconds. A great run of passes saw Mohamed Elneny finding an unmarked Lacazette for headed goal.

The joy didn’t last long as Leicester scored just minutes later off a short corner.

Arsenal struggled all game against Leicester’s high pressure, and it was a mistake from Elneny and Granit Xhaka against the pressure that led the Jamie Vardy’s goal to make it 2-1.

Arsenal continued to have issues against the high press throughout the match, especially Rob Holding and the back line. Xhaka and Elneny’s miscommunications in the double pivot weren’t helping either.

In the 41st minute a clear handball in the box had Arsenal shouting for a penalty, but it was denied by referee Mike Dean.

At the dying embers of the first half, a bouncing ball off a Lacazette blocked shot landed on Kolasinac’s feet and he squared the ball to Danny Welbeck who scored a crucial equalizer for Arsenal to make it 2-2.

Arsenal came out the second half still struggling and Leicester scored their second goal from a corner to make it 2-3 in the 56th minute. Vardy was left completely unmarked in Arsenal’s preferred zonal marking system.

The game seemed to be playing out to a rather dull finish with Arsenal not being able to create any chances and the Foxes happy to sit back on their lead. The atmosphere at the Emirates was incredibly testy, and the supporters couldn’t believe the opening day woes were happening again.

In the 67th minute Giroud and Ramsey were brought on for Elneny and Holding, and those men would help turn the tide in Arsenal’s favor.

Xhaka played a perfect ball to Ramsey who played it beautifully and finished a tough chance over Kasper Schmeichel to tie the game at 3-3 in the 83rd minute.

And then minutes later, this...

Giroud scores the dramatic winner to save Arsenal, a simply sensation moment and Leicester has their hearts broken again against Arsenal with a late goal scored against them.

Sometimes, you just have to find a way to win. Despite the poor play throughout the match Arsenal did just that. Improvements will have to be made, but for now, NA NA NA, NA NA NA NA, NA NA NA NA, GIROUD!