The Premier League returned in style in a topsy-turvy game which saw Arsenal emerge as winners after scoring two goals in the last ten minutes to go from losers to winners at the Emirates.
Alexandre Lacazette had enjoyed a dream start, scoring in just the second minute of his debut, but Shinji Okazaki responded rapidly as calamitous defence gave Leicester an equaliser.
Jamie Vardy capitalised on more slack defending to make it 2-1 to Leicester, with only Danny Welbeck’s neat finish on the stroke of half-time meaning that the scores were level at the break.
Vardy again capitalised on poor marking at a set piece to give the Foxes the lead early in the second half, and Craig Shakespeare’s side looked set to see out the result until substitute Aaron Ramsey produced a fine shot to beat Kasper Schmeichel and Olivier Giroud powered a header narrowly over the line with only four minutes left on the clock.
Here are how the Gunners rated in a bizarre victory:
Petr Cech – 4
At fault for the first goal and hardly covered himself in glory from that moment on. Made a good save later in the second half to deny Jamie Vardy but by the point the damage had already been done.
Rob Holding – 4
His inexperience showed and he was given the run around by the pace of Jamie Vardy. He looked nervous and lacked the conviction that he has shown at times in the past. The weak link at the back.
Nacho Monreal – 6
Clearly out of position but was the most experienced of the makeshift back three and tried to lead the defence. Beaten by Jamie Vardy in the air for the third goal which gave the Foxes the lead.
Sead Kolasinac – 7
Clearly a powerful presence, but his performance was more notable for the attacking threat than his defensive solidity. It was obvious that he would be better suited to a wider role than in a back three.
Hector Bellerin – 6
Strangely improved when he moved to the left flank. Will have to take part of the blame for Leicester’s second goal with his positioning not up to scratch when he was too often caught out by bombing down the wing.
Granit Xhaka – 5
Rash on the ball, his passing was off and he showed the kind of inconsistency and unreliability that made him something of a liability early last season. Will need to improve if he is to be the key man in central midfield this season.
Mohamed Elneny – 7
Full of energy, he picked out Lacazette for his opening goal and was an asset throughout. What he lacks in real quality he makes up for in work rate and desire. The kind of squad player that Arsene Wenger needs.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 7
Solid defensively despite his lack of experience on the left and at wing-back. Got forward well and his pace and power on the wing were a real threat.
Mesut Ozil – 4
One of his worst displays for Arsenal. Completely ineffective, his passing was all over the place and when he had sight of goal the only people in the ground concerned were those in row Z. Perhaps rushed back to be fit for this one when he shouldn’t have been.
Alexandre Lacazette – 7
A promising debut from the Frenchman, opening his Arsenal career by scoring only 82 seconds in. A neat finish, he was a threat throughout and had several chances.
Danny Welbeck – 8
Really energetic despite his lack of fitness, which was clear in the second half. He constantly created chances and if his finishing was a little better then he could have put the game to bed much earlier.
Aaron Ramsey (for Elneny, 67) – 8
Made an instant impact, with his runs through the middle providing another option. Brilliant first touch and finish for his goal which made a comeback look possible.
Olivier Giroud (for Holding, 67) – 9
The match winner with a powerful header, Giroud showed why Arsene Wenger needs to keep him at the Emirates. His aerial dominance offered another dimension to the Gunners’ attack and it could easily be claimed that without his introduction, the result wouldn’t have swung Arsenal’s way.
Theo Walcott (for Welbeck, 75) – 6
Struggled to make an impact. Found himself offside or firing wide when he did have opportunities.