Arsenal continued their positive start to the Premier League season as they took all three points with a 4-2 victory over Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
An elegant finish from Gabriel Jesus saw the home side open the scoring in the first half, with the 25-year-old looping the ball over Danny Ward in the Leicester goal, and it wasn’t long before the Brazil international secured his brace with a header at the far post after Jamie Vardy failed to clear the ball from danger.
The Foxes found hope in the second half after William Saliba headed an own goal past Aaron Ramsdale to half the deficit, but a mistake from Ward just moments later allowed Granit Xhaka to restore the two-goal lead for his side.
Brendan Rodgers’ side found their way back into the game again in the 74th minute as James Maddison beat Ramsdale, though it was a case of deja vu when Gabriel Martinelli scored Arsenal’s fourth just over a minute later, allowing Mikel Arteta to make changes that helped see the game out.
A stellar display from Arsenal saw them take the game to Leicester in a match which they dominated across the 90 minutes. Leicester didn’t have an answer for Arteta’s press, and that allowed the Gunners to recover possession on a consistent basis.
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The Gunners must ensure they maintain concentration in future games after conceding two avoidable goals.
Manager rating out of 10
8 — Arteta made his intentions clear from kick-off with an attacking setup that Leicester struggled to deal with. The home side created plenty of chances across the 90 minutes, but their pressing from the front was equally as impressive.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Aaron Ramsdale, 6 — A strong hand prevented Vardy’s cross from reaching the back post and that set the tone for Ramsdale, who was quick to react to dangerous situations. The Gunners’ No. 1 should have done better for Maddison’s goal though, as the ball went through his legs from a low-percentage angle.
DF Oleksandr Zinchenko, 7 — Zinchenko regularly looked to stretch the play and took on the inverted wing-back role at some points, providing Leicester’s defence with frequent issues.
DF Gabriel, 6 — Gabriel looked comfortable throughout the match, though he didn’t have much to do with Leicester struggling to create opportunities after the opening 10 minutes.
DF William Saliba, 5 — Saliba headed the ball past his own goalkeeper when under pressure, but while he wasn’t up to his high standards of Arsenal’s opening game, it wasn’t something that defined his overall solid performance in the heart of the defence.
DF Ben White, 6 — White stood up well to the task of dealing with Leicester’s attacks, as the Foxes looked to take advantage of him in his less-favoured position at right-back. A strong challenge stopped Patson Daka from making an impact when he was introduced.
MF Thomas Partey, 6 — A precise pass almost saw Xhaka open the scoring and the Ghana international looked comfortable in the middle of the pitch, though Arsenal’s press rarely allowed Leicester to create anything noteworthy in central areas.
MF Granit Xhaka, 7 — He made a number of instinctive runs and eventually got on the scoresheet after Ward’s error. The Switzerland international also provided strong cover in moments where Zinchenko advanced down the left channel.
MF Martin Odegaard, 6 — Odegaard was one of Arsenal’s quieter midfield star as Arteta’s side favoured attacking down the left channel, but the Norway international was astute in possession and looked to transition the play progressively. Positive runs helped stretch the defence during the counter-attacks.
FW Gabriel Martinelli, 8 — The 21-year-old forward constantly looked to challenge defender Wesley Fofana and looked to get the better of the battle when isolating him. A strong run should have been picked out by Gabriel Jesus in the first half.
FW Gabriel Jesus, 10 — A sensational finish saw the Arsenal No. 9 loop the ball over Ward to put the Gunners 1-0 ahead, and it wasn’t long before he secured his brace with a close-range header at the far post. The Brazil international was unplayable on the day, playing a direct involvement in all four goals as he also laid on two assists.
FW Bukayo Saka, 7 — Saka worked hard at both ends of the pitch, with the England international ensuring that White had some defensive cover. Some good balls into the box asked questions of the Leicester defence, with Xhaka close to converting one of them.
Takehiro Tomiyasu (White, 75″) N/R –– Introduced for White as Arteta began to set up his side to see the game out.
Kieran Tierney (Zinchenko, 77″) N/R — Tierney linked well with Xhaka when coming on, and was close to picking up an assist with a precise ball into the box before the offside flag was raised.
Emile Smith Rowe (Saka, 84″) N/R — Smith-Rowe replaced Bukayo Saka for the final spell of the match.
Eddie Nketiah (Jesus, 84″) N/R — Nketiah looked bright as he continued to work the Leicester defence with bright runs behind the defensive line.