Tuesday, 22 August, 2017

Okazaki nets as Leicester lose to Arsenal in Premier League opener

Sanchez won't play against Leicester.                     Image Nigel French  PA Wire  PA Images Sanchez won't play against Leicester. Image Nigel French PA Wire PA Images
Lucia Summers | 13 August, 2017, 15:21

But Arsene Wenger's double change turned the game, FA Cup final hero Ramsey drilling in an 83rd-minute equaliser and Giroud notching the victor two minutes later with a header that hit the bar and bounced over the line.

"At one stage I opened the door for him as I knew I had many strikers, and in the end he made a decision to stay", said Wenger. "It was a relief for me he chose 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.

"It's simple, in every game he is stronger since he joined us", Wenger said.

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.

"Going forward and character wise we have been great", said a relieved Wenger, who will be seeking a first league title since 2004 after being handed another two years in charge.

Leicester showed some of the form that won them the title in 2016 and helped stave off relegation last term but in the end they were undone by canny France global Giroud who has been linked with a move away from Arsenal all summer.

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

While conceding three goals raised questions for the French boss, he believes his side can correct those mistakes moving forward.

Giroud was dropped to the bench in favour of new signing Alexandre Lacazette - who opened the scoring after less than two minutes - but showed again that he can have a big impact as a super sub for the Gunners.

Albrighton crossed for Jamie Vardy to put Leicester ahead after Xhaka had gifted the ball straight to him. "We were a threat and played football and contributed to a thoroughly entertaining game".

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"If you were a manager, you're on the bench when you're 3-2 down with 20 minutes to go, and you win 4-3, you're more happy than concerned", Wenger said.

"So we conceded two goals from corner, we were quite good last season on corners. With a bit of work we can get that out of the system".

But he drew encouragement from his side's display.

"Of course I have a dejected dressing room but to come here and score three has to be pleasing in some respects, but it doesn't feel like it at the moment".

The atmosphere turned dark among the home fans after Vardy's first, the audible anger subsiding when Welbeck calmly rolled in Saed Kolasinac's cut-back, only to return again when Vardy restored the Foxes lead.

Asked whether Mahrez would be at the club when the window closes, Shakespeare said: "Who knows?" We've been courageous to the end and thank God we won the game.

"We encourage our midfield players to play balls in behind".

"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".

The post Wenger lauds stay at home match victor Giroud appeared first on The Independent Uganda:.

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