Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Sport | By Ellis Neal

Giroud the hero as Arsenal escapes with win over Leicester

Giroud the hero as Arsenal escapes with win over Leicester

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Arsenal opened the season with an extraordinary game at home to Leicester on Friday night, twice coming from behind to snatch a 4-3 win inside the last 10 minutes thanks to goals from substitutes Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud.

"At one stage I opened the door for him as I knew I had many strikers, and in the end he chose to stay", Wenger told BBC. But I don't want him to go and in the end he made a decision to stay and it was one of the days of recent weeks for me because I know how important he is. Both Ramsey and Giroud played big parts in the win for Arsenal, as both ended up on the scoresheet.

"He doesn't want to leave and I'm happy he wants to stay".

Giroud then sent the previously despondent Arsenal fans wild when he headed the 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.

While the game highlighted some continued defensive worries for Arsenal as they conceded three goals from three shots on target, it also showed Wenger now enjoys some of the strongest attacking options he's had since his last league title in 2004 - especially as Alexis Sanchez is yet to return from an abdominal injury that ruled him out of this game.

The £55 million signing from Lyon powered a pearler of a header into the Leicester net from Mohamed Elneny's cross - just around 90 seconds into the 2017-18 Premier League season.

"Giroud? He's fantastic", Wenger said of the France global, who usually started on the bench last season and had been linked with a move away from The Emirates.

"Even when he played on the left, he did very well".

"I'm always looking for the positives, we came to the Emirates and the players executed the game plan. He is a collective player, an intelligent player as well".

Wenger was also pleased with new French signing Alexandre Lacazette, who scored after 94 seconds to equal the record for the fastest opening goal of a Premier League season.

Albrighton crossed for Jamie Vardy to put Leicester ahead after Xhaka had gifted the ball straight to him. "Yes, but we scored four goals as well and the game was of quality".

Following Danny Welbeck's leveller in first-half stoppage time, another corner yielded Leicester's third goal as Riyad Mahrez's cross was headed home by Vardy.

"I feel that the goals we conceded, we can work to get rid of that", he said. One was a corner, one was a ball we lost in the build-up and the third goal was a corner again.

"We were quite good last year on corners and with a bit of work we can get that out of our system", added Wenger, who has been given another two years in charge of Arsenal.

Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare said he was "disappointed" that referee Mike Dean did not spot what he described as a "definite handball" by Mesut Ozil in the build-up to Ramsey's equaliser.

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