The Emirates Stadium faithful witnessed a candidate for match of the season on Friday, as Arsenal battled past Leicester City in a 4-3 thriller.
Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he gave Olivier Giroud the chance to leave Arsenal this summer, but the powerful striker made a decision to stay put despite rumoured interest from a number of suitors including Everton.
"I nearly provided an assist to him and he was also very impressive on the flanks". I opened the door for him because I know I had many strikers. "I know how important he is not only as a player but also in the group".
"I love the man and the player [Giroud] and he doesn't want to leave and I'm happy that he wants to stay". Shinji Okazaki scored another header to make it 1-1 three minutes later, as the Japanese forward latched on to a Harry Maguire flick-on from Marc Albrighton's cross.
"Lacazette is simple. In every game he is stronger since he has joined us", Wenger said. "We have top quality".
"I don't want him to go".
Dare we say Giroud has become one of the Prem's most clinical finishers?
"So we conceded two goals from corner, we were quite good last season on corners".
"For a first game, it was a top-quality game". I'm disappointed with the handball in the build up, but once the corner's given you have to defend it better. "We're disappointed to score three and come away with a defeat". As a game is in 90, that would guarantee you a goal.
"I will be remaining at Arsenal", Giroud told SFR Sport. "We kept the faith and kept believing in our game to push hard".
From a corner, he powered a stunning header in off the left upright to give Kasper Schmeichel no chance and win the game for Arsene Wenger's side.
"That's a nice start but obviously I prefer to be on the pitch".
However, there was still one more goal to come in a pulsating first-half, with Danny Welbeck netting from close-range after good play from Kolasinac.