EPL result – Super subs Ramsey and Giroud complete Arsenal comeback victory against Leicester

Arsenal 4-3 Leicester City

Substitute Olivier Giroud headed in a dramatic late winner as Arsenal fought back to beat Leicester City in a thrilling start to the 2017-18 Premier League season.

Arsene Wenger’s men were 3-2 down with seven minutes remaining but goals from substitutes Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud stole the game from under Leicester’s noses.

Alexandre Lacazette headed the Gunners ahead 94 seconds into his top-flight debut, only for Shinji Okazaki to nod in an equaliser just two minutes later.

Vardy then slid the visitors ahead from Marc Albrighton’s cross, before Danny Welbeck drew Arsenal level at the end of a pulsating opening half.

Leicester took the lead again when Vardy headed in Riyad Mahrez’s corner before Arsene Wenger made an inspired double substitution which sparked Arsenal’s comeback.

Substitute Ramsey smashed in an angled drive – from a corner which was won after Mesut Ozil handled in the build-up – before Giroud showed athleticism and strength to meet Granit Xhaka’s corner.

Arsenal started the new Premier League season having won just one of their previous five opening matches – all of which were also home fixtures.

Giroud’s days at Arsenal appeared to be numbered following the arrival of fellow France striker Lacazette from Lyon for a club-record £46.5m fee.

And Wenger revealed after Friday’s win that Giroud, who has scored 97 goals in 231 appearances since joining from Montpellier in 2012, could have left the Gunners this summer.

“At one stage I opened the door for him as I knew I had many strikers, and in the end he decided to stay,” said Wenger.

“He doesn’t want to leave and I’m happy he wants to stay.”

The 30-year-old wasted no time in proving his worth with another vital goal after coming on as a substitute.

Giroud offers a different, more physical option for Wenger, but is hoping for a more substantial role at the club.

Since the start of last season, he has scored seven Premier League goals when coming off the bench – three more than any other player in the same period.

“I prefer to be on the pitch as much as I can but I want to help the team reach the targets,” he said.


Theo Walcott bags brace as Arsenal thrash Benfica in the Emirates Cup

Arsenal 5-2 Benfica

Theo Walcott scored twice as Arsenal stepped up their preparations for the new season with a resounding 5-2 victory over Benfica in the Emirates Cup.

Having fallen behind to Franco Cervi’s strike, Walcott scored twice before a Lisandro Lopez own goal and efforts from Olivier Giroud and Alex Iwobi sealed a 5-2 win for the hosts.

The England forward said during pre-season that he welcomes the added competition up front following the arrival of club record signing Alexandre Lacazette.

In reality, the purchase of the France international means Walcott’s chances of playing as the Gunners’ out and out striker are severely reduced.

But he scored twice playing in a deeper role and, with the future of talisman Alexis Sanchez still up for debate, Walcott will have enjoyed taking centre-stage.

Benfica led when Jonas headed back to Cervi, whose low shot ricocheted off the feet of Per Mertesacker and beat David Ospina to open the scoring.

Arsenal were soon level with a goal that owed a lot to new recruit Sead Kolasinac.

The free signing from Schalke won the ball on the touchline and lofted a perfect pass for Walcott to finish comfortably past former QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar.

Kolasinac was again involved in Walcott’s second, rolling a pass to Francis Coquelin who then cut the ball in for the England forward to sweep home.

Benfica levelled courtesy of Salvio, whose shot hit Rob Holding on its way past Ospina.

Arsenal were back in front early in the second half as Benfica substitute Lisandro turned Walcott’s cross into his own goal.

Teenage wing-back Reiss Nelson impressed on Arsenal’s tour and was strong again here, crossing perfectly for Giroud to score the fourth.

Now fully in control, Iwobi hammered home the fifth after Kolasinac and Giroud combined to set him up.

Lacazette was given a rousing reception as he replaced Walcott or the final 15 minutes but the game petered out following a string of changes as Arsenal secured a comfortable victory.