Alexandre Lacazette knew that life in Arsenal colours would not be easy. Before Friday night, only six players had scored on their Premier League debuts for the Gunners, and Arsene Wenger’s side had only won one of their last six opening day fixtures.
However, the Frenchman got off to a dream start, scoring inside two minutes with his first shot and only his second touch. Lacazette ghosted around the Leicester defence, with his smart movement immediately causing problems, before firing a header into the far corner of the net past a helpless Kasper Schmeichel.
That was an ideal start for the striker and boosted his confidence, as he strutted around the Emirates with growing confidence. Only Nacho Monreal had a higher pass completion ratio than Lacazette’s 90.5% and he was key in building up attack as Arsenal tried to piece together a comeback after Leicester pulled the tie level and then went ahead.
He was involved again in the Gunners’ second goal as his smart turn wasn’t quite enough to get a powerful shot off but did present fellow debutant Sead Kolasinac with the opportunity to set up strike partner Danny Welbeck.
The 26-year-old had a number of opportunities fall his way, particularly later on in the second half. He continually broke through the defence and had shots test Kasper Schmeichel, with two of his three efforts on target. When one did go wide of the target, it was only inches away from finding the back of the net.
Late on, he drifted into a wider role. That allowed substitute Aaron Ramsey more freedom to roam forwards in the middle. Lacazette turned provider as he mixed up dangerous deliveries with trying to cut inside and shoot himself. The unpredictability of his game left Christian Fuchs dizzy and the Foxes struggled to contain the threat of the debutant.
Eventually, the Gunners did find a way through and it was Lacazette’s competitor for a starting role who found the net in Olivier Giroud. Giroud did well, but so too did both Welbeck and Lacazette. It was a promising debut from Arsenal’s summer signing who showed great signs of promise for the rest of the campaign.