Giroud earns Arsenal madcap opening win

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud staked a claim for a starting place with the victor in a thrilling season-opening 4-3 victory over Leicester City in the Premier League on Friday.

"Leicester had three shots on target and scored three goals, so that shows you how efficient they were, but overall I must say if you look at that from a neutral point of view, for the first game it was a top-quality match".

"Lacazette is simple - in every game he's stronger since he joined us", said Wenger, who had seen his side lose at home in three of their previous four opening league fixtures.

"You come away from home, score three goals and are almost there and then concede two.bitterly disappointed", he said.

The Ramsey-Giroud rescue act spared Arsenal from a fourth season-opening defeat in five campaigns and enabled Wenger to start the season with victory for only the second time in eight years.

Lacazette is the seventh Arsenal player to score on his first Premier League appearance.

2 goals from two substitutes late, and all was rosy in Wenger's world.

The fans at the Emirates were getting their first glimpse of Lacazette in a competitive game and the £46.5 million (RM258 million) man needed less than two minutes to find the net.

Xhaka sent the ball in and it fell to Giroud, who powered in a header off the underside of the bar, sparking wild celebrations at the Emirates.

Within three minutes Leicester were level. After playing the ball short from a corner, Marc Albrighton's cross beyond the far post was acrobatically headed by back Harry Maguire, and Okazaki rose highest to equalise.

Danny Welbeck, however, levelled for Arsenal on the stroke of half-time after being teed up by Kolasinac.

Giroud then sent the previously despondent Arsenal fans wild when he headed the 85th minute victor from a corner, Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel only managing to turn the ball onto the underside of the bar before it bounced over the line. One was a corner, one was a ball we lost in the build-up and the third goal was a corner again.

Schmeichel thwarted Oxlade-Chamberlain and Bellerin before Wenger turned to his bench in the 67th minute, pitching Ramsey and Giroud into the fray in place of Elneny and Rob Holding.

Vanessa Coleman

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