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Arsenal vs Leicester a few quick thoughts

  • Well today has a lot to live up to doesn’t it
  • If Friday night matches are as good as this then I’ll have one every week please
  • A seven goal thriller at The Emirates was the perfect start to this Premier League season
  • Although perhaps not if you are a Leicester fan
  • Arsenal showed how good they can be in attack but also showed how awful they can be in defence
  • If Alexander Lacazette opening his account for the club inside 3 minutes was ideal
  • Then conceding to Shinji Okazaki just a couple of minutes was certainly not part of the plan
  • And things would soon go from bad to worse when Jamie Vardy was given plenty of space to slot his first of the night
  • A back three which had Nacho Monreal at the centre of it was always going to be tested and was exactly the case
  • Leicester with their noses in front created something of a moody atmosphere at The Emirates as the fans had every right to think “here we go again”
  • Thankfully for them those fears would subside after Danny Welbeck levelled in first half injury time
  • A crucial goal at a crucial time
  • If Arsenal go into the break behind then the tension in the ground increases the team talk is a lot different
  • But with that goal not only is there relief in the air but it would also have taken some of the wind out of Leicester’s sails
  • Not enough to leave them shipwrecked though as this topsy turvy game would take another twist 11 minutes after the restart
  • Riyad Mahrez’s corner into Arsenal’s penalty box was put into an inviting area and Jamie Vardy did not need to ask twice for an invitation to head home to put Leicester ahead for the second time in the game
  • Questions will have undoubtedly been asked about Arsenal zonal marking setup
  • But in all fairness Leicester would have not cared for the answers
  • That toxic atmosphere was in danger of once again seeping round The Emirates
  • Arsene Wenger was given a 2 year contract a few months ago and this season he has to justify that offer
  • Last night would have gone somewhere to doing that after he proved his worth with two substitutions
  • It would require a tactical shift halfway through the second half as Rob Holding was sacrificed for Oliver Giroud and Aaron Ramsey replaced Mohamed Elneny in midfield
  • And that roll of the dice would pay dividends in a huge way
  • Firstly Ramsey equalised for The Gunners with just seven minutes to go, although there was a hugely contentious issue to the build up
  • Mesut Ozil clearly handled in the move that resulted in a corner which would eventually lead to the goal
  • Harsh on Leicester, a huge slice of luck for the home side
  • Ramsey would eventually smash the ball home from that corner and set up a dramatic grandstand finish
  • The ascendancy was with Arsenal as Leicester looked to make sure they came away with at least a point
  • Unfortunately for them though that was not the case as the other of those subs Oliver Giroud would clinch the winner with just 5 minutes remaining
  • The French international showed enough power in his header to leave Kasper Schmeichel rooted to the spot
  • The ball cannoned off the underside the bar and although the Danish goalkeeper scooped back into play the ball was well over the line even without the need for goalline technology
  • A harsh ending for Leicester who caused a lot of problems but on the balance of the statistics you would have to say that it was the right result in the end
  • Craig Shakespeare‘s men will point to Ozil’s handball which arguably changed the complexion of the whole game
  • But at the same time they should have dealt with the corner that lead to the equaliser better
  • Two goals from set pieces will no doubt be cause for concern for the Leicester boss and that is something that they will have to work on in training next week
  • Although a defeat there are plenty of positives that Leicester can take from that game but perhaps better game management at the end of both halves would have been the difference
  • Arsenal ultimately scored at crucial times and The Foxes were dealt a harsh lesson
  • Riyad Mahrez looked up for the challenge last night, whether that is because he wants to put himself in the shop window I’m not too sure
  • For Arsene Wenger the defensive performance may highlight the fact that they could still do with another centre back before the end of the transfer window
  • On a personal level, I was caught up in the emotion of the game and was cheering every Leicester goal
  • I guess the enemy of my enemy is my friend and all that
  • But any Leicester “loyalties” were ended at the final whistle as I cursed another Arsenal win
  • Credit to them though as they did not roll over at 3-2 and showed plenty of determination
  • There will also be reasons to be cheerful as this was a four goal haul without Alexis Sanchez
  • That said there is no way they are going to win the league this season with that defence
  • As far as opening fixtures go, I don’t think they get much better than that
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