The Premier League is back and boy what a start! 85 seconds into the game and we were reminded why the beautiful game of football excites us. The entertaining opener reminds fans all over the world what the PL is about as substitutes Aaron Ramsey and Oliver Giroud seal an exciting come back.
Record signing Alexandre Lacazette put Arsenal ahead just 85 seconds into the game in a start they woul have wanted before Shinji Okazaki levelled things with a header and a Jamie Vardy brace on both sides of half time kept Arsenal second best after Danny Welbeck levelled things on the stroke of half time.
However, a double change by Arsene Wenger saw Arsenal emerge victorious after Ramsey and super-sub Giroud banged in a header that hit the bar and bounced into the net five minutes left of normal time.
“We conceded three goals, yes but we scored four goals as well and the game was of quality”
“Overall we could say we were punished on every single mistake by a Leicester team who were very efficient going forward” said Wenger.
The result spared Arsenal a fourth consecutive defeat in five seasons and saw the gunners record a victory for the first time in eight years in the opening fixture of the EPL.
It took only 23 minutes for the ‘Wenger Out’ band to find their voice and 30 minutes to get it trending on twitter as Vardy gave Leicester the lead making Arsenal supporters seriously doubt this was their year.
Lacazette didn’t disappoint on what was his competitive debut at the emirates deftly glancing a header from an Elneny first time cross past Kasper Schmeichel into the net before enjoying the acclaim from the crowd at the Emirates with his arms spread wide.
Three minutes later, the mood was dampened as Okazaki leapt to nod home after a deep cross from Marc Albrighton was headed across goal by Harry Maguire in what looked like a well perfected routine from training.
Schemichel made saves from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and debutant Sead Kolasinac as they stepped things up in search of a goal to get the advantage but it was their carelessness in possession that helped Leicester go in front before the half hour.
A sloppy pass from Granit Xhaka was picked up by Albrighton who continued down the left flank to bend in a sublime cross for Vardy to meet with a rousing finish. They almost had a third after Okazaki’s header from a Christian Fuchs’s cross bounced just wide of the left hand of Cech’s post/
However, Arsenal were to level things up after Daniel Welbeck tapped in from a Kolasinac’s square pass after Lacazette’s shot was blocked. Leicester must have had it coming though as Wilfred Ndidi only just survived a penalty shout for handball.
Arsenal began the second half the better team but their inability to effectively deal with set pieces again saw Vardy complete a brace from an in-swinging corner from the right in a moment when Xhaka was punished for ball watching.
Schmeichel again looked to keep things as they were after denying Oxlade-Chamberlain and Bellerin before Wenger sought inspiration from the bench in the 67th minute bring in Ramsey and Giroud in place of Elneny and Rob Holding.
It seemed very likely Wenger took a gamble as Arsenal were left with Chamberlain at right back, Bellerin aat left back and left backs Kolasinac and Nacho Monreal in central defence.
However the move paid off as Ramsey controlled a Xhaka pass to drill in a shot that took Arsenal level and 2 minutes later, Giroud’s header from Xhaka’s corner completed the turnaround in a sweet fashion as the header hit the post before bouncing over the line.
Manager Craig Shakespeare concluded “we are not going to be too downhearted” after he admitted disappointment at scoring three and coming away with a defeat.
Author: Awolope Kolawole
Author: Rotimi “Papi the Great” Daramola
Rotimi Daramola aka Papi the Great is the owner of ForTheGoal.
A freelance sports writer who focuses on football, Rotimi is also a freelance writer, a copywriter and a football analyst who regularly appears on radio and television to talk football. You can follow him on twitter @papi_thegreat to keep up with his writings, engage him and also find out about how you can secure his writing services.