Arsenal strike late to take stunning victory over Leicester City
Arsenal scored two goals in the final eight minutes to beat Leicester City 4-3 in a thrilling opening game of the Premier League season.
The teams shared four goals in the first 45 minutes before Jamie Vardy gave Leicester the lead. Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud struck late though to take the three points.
Both teams had scored after an astonishing opening five minutes at the Emirates. Alexandre Lacazette equalled the record for quickest opening goal in a Premier League season when he headed in from Mohamed Elneny’s ball after just 94 seconds.
Leicester were level though when Marc Albrighton’s cross was helped along by Harry Maguire to Shinji Okazaki to head in.
The frantic start continued with an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain shot going over before the winger sent a shot towards Kasper Schmeichel.
New signing Sead Kolasinac then had a chance to score but his shot went wide.
Leicester took the lead with a counterattack after 28 minutes. Albrighton burst down the left before playing in Vardy to open his account for the season.
Okazaki came close to doubling Leicester’s lead four minutes later but his header went wide from Christian Fuchs’ cross.
The Gunners had a penalty appeal turned down in the 42nd minute. The ball hit Wilfred Ndidi’s hand but the referee deemed it accidental.
A typical Arsenal-style move got them the equaliser on the stroke of half time. Danny Welbeck jinked through the Leicester defence and finished after a one-two with Kolasinac.
Petr Cech kept the scores level shortly after the restart with a superb goal-saving tackle. Riyad Mahrez played the ball long to Vardy but Cech came out early to stop the attack.
Mahrez then tested Cech from the edge of the area but his powerful effort was palmed wide.
Leicester regained the lead in the 55th minute. Arsenal’s defence stood there like statues and Vardy leapt up to head home Mahrez’s corner.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, the bright spark for Arsenal all evening, then saw his rocket saved by Schmeichel. The Dane stopped Lacazette’s follow-up but the striker was ruled offside.
Schmeichel was on hand again in the 62nd minute to stop an Arsenal attack. Welbeck found Hector Bellerin on the right side of the area but Schmeichel came out to close the full back down.
Ramsey nearly scored with his first touch after coming off the bench but his shot went wide from Lacazette’s excellent delivery.
The Welshman did equalise with eight minutes remaining, thumping the ball into the far corner from eight yards after being set up by Granit Xhaka.
Giroud got the winner two minutes later, heading in off the crossbar from Ramsey’s corner.
Arsenal held out through five minutes of extra time to confirm the victory.