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Giroud seals Arsenal win in thrilling EPL opener

  • Published at 09:01 am August 12th, 2017
Giroud seals Arsenal win in thrilling EPL opener
A feast of goals opened the Premier League season when Arsenal twice came from behind to beat Leicester City 4-3 with substitute Olivier Giroud heading a late winner on Friday. Arsenal's new signing Frenchman Alexandre Lacazette took 94s to make his mark with a header from Mohamed Elneny's curling cross to equal the record for the fastest opening goal in a Premier League season. Shinji Okazaki scored a quick equaliser, Jamie Vardy put Leicester ahead and Danny Welbeck levelled for Arsenal before halftime. Vardy then restored Leicester's lead at 3-2 early in the second half before goals in the final seven minutes from substitutes Aaron Ramsay and Giroud gave Arsenal victory. Arsenal's quickfire lead lasted barely three minutes before Marc Albrighton's cross from the left was headed back into the middle by Leicester's new signing Harry Maguire and Okazaki nodded the ball past flailing Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech. Vardy put the visitor 2-1 ahead just before the half hour, darting into the box to rifle another fine Albrighton cross past Cech after the winger had pounced on a poor square ball from Arsenal midfielder Mezut Ozil. But Welbeck had the last word of the first half for the home side when he equalised from close range in added time after new signing Sead Kolasinac's tap forward in a goalmouth melee. The impressive Vardy scored his second in the 53rd minute to put Leicester in front once more, curling Riyad Mahrez's corner into the bottom far corner amid poor Arsenal marking. But the home side's pressure in the final half hour turned the game back their way and Ramsey equalised with a shot from close range with seven minutes remaining. Giroud then sent the previously despondent Arsenal fans wild when he headed the 85th minute winner 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. 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 international Giroud who has been linked with a move away from Arsenal all summer. RESULT Arsenal 4 (Lacazette 2, Welbeck 45+2, Ramsey 83, Giroud 85) Leicester 3 (Okazaki 5, Vardy 29, 56)   SATURDAY'S MATCHES Watford v Liverpool, Chelsea v Burnley, Palace v Huddersfield, Everton v Stoke, Southampton v Swansea, West Brom v Bournemouth, Brighton v Man City