Don’t you just love the Premier League? Seven goals in the opening match of the season? Dear Lord.
The 2017/18 Premier League started off with a seven goal thriller at the Emirates last night with Arsenal emerging winners over Leicester City. It was a game that was characterized by a debut goal, headed goals, poor defending and super subs. The Premier League had an opening day game on a Friday Night for the first time and the excitement from the game still has ripples all over the galaxy.
Olivier Giround grabbed a late winner, few minutes after Ramsey had pulled Arsenal level for the second time in the night. Lacazette scored in the 2nd minute but Okazaki equalized within 2 minutes. Vardy made it 2-1 before Welbeck made it 2-2 on the dot of half time. Vardy rose highest to make it 3-2 for the Foxes before the super subs came in to give Arsenal a 4-3 win.
Hello Premier League – This is Lacazette
Every big money signing has the pressure of wanting to impress, stamp his name and justify his price tag – especially when they move to a widely watched league like the Premier League. Lacazette did just that in 94 seconds. He directed Elneny’s cross into the bottom corner with his head. Dream start and his celebration said it all – “Good Evening Premier League, Here I am”. Apart from the goal, he was involved in almost every action upfront and showed he would contribute much more as the season progresses.
Lacazette’s goal after 1 minute, 34 seconds is now the quickest opening goal to a Premier League season, beating Fernando Asprilla’s goal for Newcastle against Sheffield Wednesday (1997-98) by seven seconds. Kevin Campbell’s strike for Arsenal vs Manchester City (1994-95) is now third, coming after two minutes and one second.
Arsenal and Defensive Errors
Arsenal shipped in 3 goals last night. All of which had question marks about the defending and focus. The first was from a corner. The Foxes took a short corner with no Arsenal player was found close to the corner. The resulting pass was lofted into the Arsenal box – heading for a goal kick. Cech went for it, missed it, Harry Maguire kept it alive and headed it across goal for Shinji Okazaki to pull Leicester City back with 2 minutes of going down. Poor from Cech, poor from Arsenal. Where is Szczesny?
Within minutes, Vardy had Leicester City ahead. Xhaka made a wrong pass and the Marc Albrighton had the cross for Vardy. In the second half, Vardy grabbed his brace from a corner kick with a free header. The Gunners were flatfooted. They all stood wishing the ball away from Vardy. Dangerous Vardy – you don’t give him breathing space. The Gunners will need to do better defensively to mount a title challenge this season.
Super Subs – Ramsey and Giroud
With the Gunners trailing 2-3 to the visitors, Wenger brought in Ramsey and Giroud for Elneny and Rob Holding in the 67th minute. Ramsey grabbed the equalizer in the 83rd minute before Giroud raised the Emirates roof with a 85th minute header. Olivier Giroud is carving a niche for himself as the ultimate winner and super sub. Wenger had the doors open for his exit in the summer but he opted to remain. Here he is, doing what he does best.
The media is crying foul over Ozil’s handball before the corner kick that pulled Arsenal back to 3-3. Same media is mum about Ndidi’s handball in the box in the first half. Take your “L” and move on. Is the handball the reason that Leicester City couldn’t defend a set-piece?
As poor as Xhaka was, he had two assists to his name last night – equaling his tally last season. Holding was poor. Bellerin was not at his best. I like Kolasinac. Legend has it that the Foxes were so scared of him that they decided to use the Holding route. Nobody is saying the back three was makeshift. The first three centre backs were off – Koscienly, Mustafi and Metersacker.
Kelechi Iheanacho made his debut for Leicester City. I think he made just three touches. Ndidi played the 90 and put up a decent shift. Musa was not even dressed for the game. His Jersey #7 has been given to Gray. He will wear #13 this season.
In all, three points in the kit for the Gunners. Stoke is next.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.