Jamie Vardy scores

City Edged By Arsenal In The Capital

Despite taking the lead twice at Emirates Stadium, Leicester City opened their 2017/18 Premier League campaign with a narrow 4-3 defeat to Arsenal on Friday evening.
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Craig Shakespeare made one change to the side that beat Borussia Mönchengladbach last week, as Riyad Mahrez came in for Demarai Gray. Matty James, meanwhile, made his first start in 27 months for the Club.

The Gunners were ahead inside two minutes with summer arrival Alexandre Lacazette glancing in Mohamed Elneny’s cross from the right. City were behind for just three minutes though, as Shinji Okazaki headed home from close range to make it 1-1.

Efforts came in from Danny Welbeck and Granit Xhaka shortly after, but it was Shakespeare’s men who would score the game’s next goal just before the half-hour mark.

Excellent work from Marc Albrighton saw the winger pinch the ball in midfield before delivering into Jamie Vardy, who from just three yards out made no mistakes.

Good value for the lead, the 2015/16 Premier League champions were desperately unfortunate not to head into the break 2-1 up. Sead Kolasinac broke the offside trap before squaring to Welbeck, who slotted in to level.

The Foxes did not give up, though, and just 10 minutes into the second period were back in front. Mahrez delivered a corner into Vardy and the England international got up brilliantly to head in his second of the game.

Kasper Schmeichel then had to pull off a string of superb saves to keep his side 3-2 up. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lacazette were both denied, before the Dane spread himself well to turn away Hector Bellerin’s close-range strike.

Arsenal’s pressure finally told in the closing 10 minutes, though, with substitutes Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud finding the back of the net. The former converted at the back post on 83 minutes, before the latter nodded in off the underside of the bar two minutes later to win it for his side.

 

Key moment

Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy

Vardy was on target twice at Emirates Stadium.

The Foxes were well aware of the task at hand heading into Friday night’s clash at Emirates Stadium and a point will no doubt have been an admirable result against Arsene Wenger’s men.

City did well to absorb much of the Arsenal attack after going 3-2 up and while Aaron Ramsey netted an equaliser, they would have more than deserved a draw against the London outfit.

But Olivier Giroud managed to break free in the Leicester box and the Frenchman, well known for his aerial threat, scored the decisive goal of the game after his effort was confirmed by goal line technology.

 

Who impressed?

Kasper Schmeichel
Kasper Schmeichel

Schmeichel applauds the travelling Blue Army.

The outfield efforts of Marc Albrighton down the left flank and the goalscoring exploits of Jamie Vardy did of course not go unnoticed, but it was Kasper Schmeichel who was most impressive for the Foxes.

He made save after save against the Gunners and while he conceded four goals, the City stopper put on an outstanding, defiant display.

Granit Xhaka, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexandre Lacazette and Hector Bellerin all saw efforts stopped by some excellent Schmeichel reflexes.

 

Coming up…

Shinji Okazaki
Shinji Okazaki

Okazaki holds off the challenge of Oxlade-Chamberlain.

After an opening day defeat, a home fixture against newly-promoted Brighton and Hove Albion is next up for the Foxes.

Chris Hughton’s men visit King Power Stadium on Saturday 19 August (3pm kick-off), before City head to Old Trafford to face Manchester United a week later.

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