Arsenal fans went through a variety of emotions on the opening night of Premier League. The new season got off to a flier, may be for a neutral viewer, but if you are a supporter of either of Arsenal or the Leicester you might have had moments when your blood rushed with excitement or heart felt like tearing open.
New Premier League is off and running. It didn’t just start but it was a night that might turn out to be the story of the season. The Foxes were asked to visit Emirates for their first outing of the season and it didn’t go that badly for them, even though the result was not in their favor.
The Gunners were forced to start the game with a makeshift defense, with everyone at the back playing out of position. But, the Arsenal manager made sure that he threw in all the attacking options he has in his armor, even pushing Ox to play in right back position.
The two new signings for Arsenal- Lacazette and Kolasinac looked really good with the new forward providing the early break through within 90 seconds of his debut. Kolasinac looked solid and he also contributed with an assist in the closing minutes of the first half which also marked the return of Danny Welbeck.
The hope and enthusiasm of early goal didn’t stay long as Leicester responded brilliantly with two goals from Okazaki and Jamie Vardy. A lot of credit for Okazaki’s goal had to go to Harry Maguire’s brilliant debut with the Foxes making sure that the ball stayed in the game. It is also a lapse in concentration from Petr Cech who looked lot rusty. Jamie Vardy shed off his agonizingly bad last season with a brilliant finish off the cross from Mark Albrighton.
At half time, both the teams leveled with two goals a piece.
The second half started off rather meekly with either side trying to calm the nerves but Riyad Mahrez’s cross supported by excellent finish by Jamie Vardy pushed Foxes into the lead and the Gunners fans into despair. What followed next is crazy 30 minutes of football. Arsenal subbed in Giroud, Ramsay and Walcott in quick succession which turned out to be a master move. This could have back fired for the team but the players ensured that they stayed switched on. A lion’s share of those final 30+5 minutes was played in the Arsenal half.
It was a night that the Gunners might have avoided the scare but the poor passing and loose linking of defense would be something that they really need to address. All the goals scored by the Leicester City had something to do with the ridiculous passing or lapse in concentration by the Arsenal defense. They need someone to hold them through, but they might have to survive one more game before either of Mertesacker or Koscielny could come back.
And so the opening night of new Premier League season ended with a maniac driven 4-3 win to Arsenal.
This is Premier League back in style.
Match: #1 | Arsenal vs. Leicester | Emirates Stadium, London | 11 Aug 2017