Arsenal beat Leicester City in seven goal thriller
Arsenal beat Leicester City 4-3 in the opening Premier League fixture of the season at the Emirates Stadium tonight.
This was only the sixth time that an opening game in a Premier League season has seen seven goals scored – no game has seen more.
The Gunners have now won 11 successive Premier League home games against Leicester City – their longest winning streak at home against a particular opponent.
Arsenal are now unbeaten in 22 Premier League games against Leicester City – winning 15 and drawing seven.
Before tonight Arsenal had won their first Premier League fixture just once in the last seven seasons (D3, L3), and began with defeats in each of their previous two campaigns.
The Foxes are now winless in 22 top-flight games against Arsenal, losing 15 of those matches.
Leicester’s last away win against the Gunners came in a top-flight match in September 1973, when Len Glover and Mike Stringfellow scored in a 2-0 victory
Alexandre Lacazette headed Arsenal ahead 94 seconds into his Premier League debut from a Mohamed Elneny cross.
Lacazette scored with his first shot (and second touch) as a Premier League player.
The last player to score a goal faster on their Premier League debut was Thievy Bifouma, who came on for his Premier League debut for West Brom at half-time and scored after just 36 seconds in a 3-1 defeat at Crystal Palace in February 2014
Lacazette is just the seventh player to score on his Premier League debut for Arsenal, after Kevin Campbell, Steve Bould, Fredrik Ljungberg, Emmanuel Adebayor, Samir Nasri and Thomas Vermaelen.
Shinji Okazaki took advantage of Mesut Ozil and the Gunners defence switching off from a short corner to nod Leicester level just two minutes later.
The Foxes then took the lead in the 29th minute when Jamie Vardy converted Marc Albrighton’s cross from close range, after Granit Xhaka gave the ball away.
Danny Welbeck drew Arsenal level in the second minute of first half stoppage time when he tapped in from a cut back from Saed Kolasinac.
Leicester though took the lead again in the 56th minute when Vardy rose unmarked to head in Riyad Mahrez’s corner.
Vardy has scored five of Leicester City’s last six goals against Arsenal. However, he is yet to end on the winning side.
Arsene Wenger was forced into a double substitution to chase the match.
He ditched the three at the back system bringing on Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud in the 67th minute to replace Elneny and Rob Holding.
It proved to be an inspired double substitution in sparking Arsenal’s late comeback.
Ramsey equalised in the 83rd minute when he stole in unmarked at the far post and drove the ball into the net from a Xhaka cross.
There was controversy in the build-up to goal, with TV replays showing that Mesut Ozil handled the ball before it was deflected behind for a corner from which Ramsey scored.
Two minutes later Giroud headed in the winner from a Xhaka corner.
So a late comeback sealed all three points for Arsenal.
The Gunners maintain their record of having never lost a Premier League game on a Friday, winning seven of eight matches. Their last league defeat on a Friday came against Watford in April 1988.
Arsenal: Cech 6, Bellerin 6, Holding 5 (Giroud), Monreal 6, Kolasinac 8, Oxlade-Chamberlain 6, Xhaka 7, Elneny 7 (Ramsey), Ozil 5, Welbeck 6 (Walcott), Lacazette 7