Red hot Gabriel Jesus scores a brace on his home debut as Mikel Arteta’s rejuvenated Gunners make it two wins from two games.
Cameras inside the Emirates panned to the stands shortly after Gabriel Jesus’ first goal, the first of four he scored or created on this historic afternoon.
Edu, the Gunners’ technical director, sat there, trying to hide a smirk on his face. These are the afternoons that demonstrate the value of work like his. That demonstrates the need of a clever, smooth transfer business.
Although we are still in August, it is difficult to overestimate the devastating impact of Jesus’ £45 million arrival.
Leicester had been the only team in Europe’s top five leagues without a senior summer acquisition until Friday. And what difference would free agent ex-Cardiff goalkeeper Alex Smithies have made here? Except for holding on to Ben White’s cross on 55 minutes.
Instead, Danny Ward dumped it at the feet of Jesus, who feed Granit Xhaka to make it 3-1 after Kasper Schmeichel’s exit.
This came just moments after William Saliba’s own goal had cut Arsenal’s lead in half. Later in the game, Aaron Ramsdale let James Maddison’s strike slip through his legs, only for Gabriel Martinelli to score Arsenal’s fourth goal within a minute.
Not least when, after only three minutes, he snuck in to rob Granit Xhaka inside Arsenal territory. Fofana exchanged passes with Vardy before driving into the box, where he was only stopped by Ramsdale.
Arsenal quickly gained control and should have taken the lead when Xhaka headed off the post. But Jesus made sure Mikel Arteta’s team didn’t have to wait long to get their season started at home.
His first goal was a combination of cunning and luck. From a standing start and with numerous defenders surrounding him, Jesus launched a curling effort towards the far corner. It made its way home thanks to a very little deflection.
Leicester was considerably more involved in his second goal. Vardy flicked the ball towards the back post from an Arsenal corner, where Jesus was waiting to finish.
It took Jesus 125 minutes to score as many non-penalty Premier League goals as Arsenal’s previous No. 9 Alexandre Lacazette did in the entire season before.
By halftime, Jesus should have surpassed the Frenchman.
First, the striker wonderfully turned Jonny Evans on the edge of the box, only to be saved by Wilfred Ndidi’s last-ditch challenge.
Then, after a clever move including Zinchenko, Martin Odegaard, Martinelli, and Jesus, the No 9 was through on goal. Ward foiled him this time.
Leicester was given a lifeline just as Arsenal threatened to end the game. Vardy chased a ball in behind, Ramsdale collided with him in the box, and the striker went down. Penalty. In any case, briefly. Replays proved that referee Darren England made no touch, hence the verdict was reversed.
Leicester did close the gap in the second half. Twice. They were fortunate twice. Twice, they were gracious enough to return the initiative nearly immediately.
First, Saliba headed a long ball past his own goalkeeper, before Ward misjudged White’s cross, allowing Xhaka to score.
Martinelli then ensured three points after Maddison made it 3-2 with 16 minutes remaining.