Arsenal 4 Leicester City 3
Lacazette 2, Welbeck 45+2, Ramsey 83, Giroud 85, Okazaki 5, Vardy 29, 56

Arsenal stormed to a 4-3 win over Leicester City with Olivier Giroud heading in the 84th minute winner on a dramatic Premier League season opener at the Emirates stadium. Having taken the lead through Alexander Lacazette’s first Arsenal goal inside 2 minutes of his Premier League debut, Leicester City levelled through Shinji Okazaki three minutes later. The Foxes then took the lead through Jamie Vardy, and the Gunners defence looked vulnerable. But Danny Welbeck levelled in first half time added on after neat work from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sead Kolisanac. Vardy then headed the visitors into the lead from Riyad Marhez’s corner at which the Gunners’ defence went AWOL. With time running out and some fine saves from Kasper Schmeichel and desperate defending from the Foxes, Craig Shakespeare’ side seemed to be headed for all three points. However under a relenting barrage of Gunners’ firepower, substitute Aaron Ramsey levelled after 83 minutes, and two minutes later, fellow substitute Giroud powered in a header to seal the three points for Arsenal.

A Friday night Premier League season opener, and both these sides must have read the script. Let there be a thriller, and so it was. Arsenal were on the wrong end of a seven goal thriller in last season’s opener against Liverpool, and we’re determined to avoid another opening day loss. £52 million man Lacazette wasted no time in his goals scored return, and opened his account with less than two minutes on the clock. Mohammed Elneny crossed for the France to head beyond the diving Kasper Schmeichel.

The Foxes have never beaten Arsenal away in the Premier League, and within three minutes they were level. Marcus Albrighton’s cross caused panic as Petr Cech chased the cross, only for it to be nodded back by Harry Maguire and Shinji Okazaki to head home for 1-1.

With a defensive three of Nacho Monreal, Rob Holding and Sead Kolisanac, the Foxes knew that their pace and direct football would cause panic the Gunners ranks.

In attack, Arsenal slipped through the gears. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s run and shot just over bar saw the beginning of a series on Gunners’ raids. Welbeck saw a shot blocked from a neat build up on the left. Mesut Özil then cut back to Welbeck, but Maguire blocked to save his goal bound effort. Schmeichel then denied Kolasinac at his near post as Arsenal looked to re-take the lead.

It was however the visitors who would profit from some shoddy passes in Arsenal’s own half. Elneney’s poor pass and Xhaka gave the ball away. Albrighton took possession to cross and Vardy hammered past an exposed Cech to give Leicester the lead. The damage could have been greater when Christian Fuchs saw his cross headed wide by Okazaki as the Gunners began to rock. In first half time added on however they drew level after some good work from Oxlade-Chamberlain. His effort came back off Schmeichel for Kolasinac to find Welbeck who made no mistake for a 2-2 scoreline at the break.

Leicester were out the blocks in quick time after the restart, Cech had to clear from Vardy following a fast counter attack. The Gunners’ keeper was then forced to tip over from a Mahrez cut back and with their next move, the visitors retook the lead. Mahrez swung a corner over and Vardy had the freedom of North Lindon to rise and head past Cech. Monreal looked in in horror, but the damage was done.

Back came Arsenal when Oxlade-Chamberlain fired from range, Schmeichel fumbled, but Lacazette was in an offside position for the follow up. Arsenal continued to surge forward to try to draw level again. Welbeck slipped in Bellerin, but as he came off his line, Schmeichel saved well low down.

Arsene Wenger took off Eleneny for Ramsey and Holding for Giroud. Moments later Ramsey headed wide from Lacazette’s cross.

At the back, Arsenal were having to play with Bellerin at left back, Kolasinac at centre back and Monreal at right back! It was a bizarre sight with everyone out of their usual positions, but being a goal in arrears, the emphasis was definitely on attack.

Oxlade-Chamberlain flashed an effort wide, which was deflected for a corner. Welbeck then made way for Theo Walcott as Arsenal went in search of two goals, and with time running out, this wouldn’t be easy.

But, Ramey struck home to level and Arsenal sensed more. Giroud teed up Lacazette, whose quick feet carved out a sharp chance which Schmeichel had to tip over his bar. From the resultant corner, Giroud was being hustled by Maguire and Wes Morgan, but the France striker had the strength, the intelligence and the presence of mind to power his header into the net for an amazing 4-3 scoreline, and three opening day points to the Arsenal.