Arsenal mounted a late comeback to snatch a 4-3 win over Leicester City to kick off their Premier League campaign on a positive note.
It seemed like a case of rinse and repeat as Arsenal withered under the attacking pressure from Leicester City in the first game of their 2017-18 Premier League campaign. A brace from Jamie Vardy saw the Foxes earn a 3-2 lead early on in the second half.
But, Arsene Wenger’s substitutions worked wonders as Aaron Ramsey and Oliver Giroud scored after coming on to ensure a 4-3 win over Craig Shakespeare’s men, who would be disappointed to lose in such a way. There were some interesting storylines to emerge from the game.
Alexandre The Great
Arsene Wenger has often been bashed on his inability or perhaps, persistence to not sign a world class striker. And when the Frenchman went ahead and snapped up Alexandre Lacazette, he was further criticised with people claiming that he could have gone for much bigger forwards instead.
However, Lacazette has started with a bang and looks set to prove the fans wrong. If finding the net within the first two minutes of his Premier League debut wasn’t enough, the player scored with just his second touch in the Premier League.
Lacazette scored with only his second touch in the Premier League. His first? The kick-off… pic.twitter.com/QvLCCeWhXY
— 🏆 FA Cup Winners 🏆 (@tomgunner14) August 12, 2017
Alexandre Lacazette wasn’t hanging around last night. pic.twitter.com/VrjQMi5Lt0
— B/R Football (@brfootball) August 12, 2017
The player looked at home upfront and could be a lethal combination, if Wenger decides to start Giroud with the former Lyon man.
Giroud the saviour, again!
Oliver Giroud has been criticised by Arsenal fans throughout his Gunners career. And with the arrival of Lacazette, there were rumours of him being shipped off to another club. However, reports say the Frenchman is determined to fight for his place in the starting lineup.
Olivier Giroud has scored more league goals (21) in the final 15 minutes of games than any other period in the match.
Match-winner. 👊 pic.twitter.com/FXIB5Jwwm0
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 12, 2017
On Friday, the player highlighted again, just how important he is to the Arsenal setup as he got on the end of a corner to slot in the winner. Giroud has often scored the most important of goals for Arsenal and he did the deed again against Leicester City with an unstoppable header.
Xhaka not solid as a Granit-e but influential
Okay. The headline doesn’t seem to do justice to the game. Granit Xhaka was caught out several time defensively. But, his vision and passing ability were paramount on Friday and his ventures going forward are the subject of the aforementioned toast.
Xhaka two assists after one of his worst performances, the best players pull something out of a nothing game
— AFC Dan (@afcDW) August 11, 2017
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) August 11, 2017
While the player was rather at fault for a goal and was actually not much prevalent in the proceedings, it was he who set up both Aaron Ramsey and Oliver Giroud’s goals.
A Jamie Vardy resurgence on the cards?
The 2016-17 campaign was a dull one for not just Jamie Vardy but the entire Leicester team. However, towards the end of the last campaign, we saw signs of a resurgence from the entire team. And Vardy, in the first game of the season, has just announced that it may just be another remarkable season for him as well as the club.
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) August 11, 2017
Two goals in the inaugural game, the player was the cream of the crop for the Foxes and was unlucky to be on the losing end on Friday.
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) August 11, 2017
Vardy has been on the road to redemption since February and with the World Cup around the corner, this is the right time for him to hit his peak form. And judging by his display on Friday night, the striker is well on his way towards returning to the beastly form that saw the Foxes lift the title.
A defensively harrowing Arsenal performance
While the attack delivered on Friday, the defence was shambolic for Arsenal and had the fans fearing a repeat of their previous campaigns. Indeed, there are echoes of the same defensive frailties that have engrossed Arsenal recently.
Sead Kolasinac did provide an assist but was underwhelming defensively and so was the rest of the defence. Also, Arsene Wenger’s late substitutions saw Arsenal play out the last quarter of the match with no natural central defenders as part of the back three, a worrying sign for the Gunners.
Although offensively Arsenal were very good, they were lucky against Leicester’s defence was just as bad as their own.
— Ash Newman (@ashnewman14) August 13, 2017
The phrase ‘Attacks win you matches, Defence wins you titles’ may be cliche in modern football but it still stands true to date. And Arsenal are in danger of missing out on another Premier League title, if they do not sort out their backline quickly.