Arsenal win seven-goal opening day thriller

Arsenal showed great character to win their frenetic 2017/18 Premier League opener 4-3 against Leicester at the Emirates Stadium on Friday night.

  • Arsenal 4 Leicester 3
  • Lacazette opens scoring 
  • Okazaki equalises for visitors
  • Vardy doubles Leicester's lead
  • Welbeck equalises on brink of half-time
  • Vardy heads Leicester into lead
  • Ramsey equalises for hosts
  • Giroud heads home the winner

Match summary

Arsenal got this match off to a flying start with new striker Alex Lacazette scoring with a strong header in the second minute of play.

However, Shinji Okazaki soon equalised for the visitors in the fifth minute, amd Jamie Vardy then doubled the Foxes’ lead after a good cross from Mark Albrighton with 29 minutes played.

Just before the half-time whistle, Danny Welbeck finished off a neat passing move to level the score going into the break.

Vardy scored a good header from a corner to put the visitors ahead again, but Aaron Ramsey scored a crucial equaliser after he was found by Lacazette before super substitute Olivier Giroud came on to score the Arsenal winner from a corner.

Full report

The Gunners started their first match of the season with a bang, with Mohamed Elneny producing a good cross to find an unmarked Lacazette, who headed in strongly to put the hosts ahead.

Moments later, Leicester countered quickly and Okazaki headed in an equaliser after Harry Maguire did well to keep a deep cross into Arsenal’s box in play.

Arsenal pressed hard for a second goal and nearly scored after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain produced a strong run from his own half, but his shot from outside the Leicester box went over the crossbar.

Mesut Ozil and Welbeck then played a one-two to put Welbeck through but his pull-back could not find a teammate.

Leicester started pressing the Arsenal defence into errors. Albrighton pounced onto a loose touch from Elneny and crossed the ball early into the path of Vardy who lashed the ball home from close range.

The Arsenal defence continued to make errors much to the ire of the home supporters. Okazaki nearly made it three-one after Christian Fuchs found him in a good position, but the Japanese striker’s header went narrowly wide of the far post.

With half-time approaching, Arsenal equalised after Lacazette’s scuffed shot went into the path of Sead Kolasinac who tapped the ball to Welbeck to score.

After the break, Leicester found some renewed energy and again pressed the Arsenal defence into mistakes. After Mahrez won a corner, the Algerian floated the ball into the path of Vardy who lost his marker and headed the Foxes into the lead.

The game was dominated by the hosts from there on; Hector Bellerin seeing his shot well kept out by Kasper Schmeichel after the wing-back was played in by Elneny.

Wenger then brought on Ramsey and Giroud in an attempt to rescue the game and the substitutes made an immediate impact, with first Ramsey scoring in the 83rd minute after he was well found by Lacazette.

Giroud then held off two Leicester defenders to head in the Arsenal winner from a good Xhaka cross in the 85th minute.