Arsenal 4-3 Leicester Player Ratings: Giroud the hero

metro.co.uk

In what will go down as one of the most iconic games in English football history, Arsenal defeated Leicester 4-3 on the opening night of the Premier League season. How did players on both teams fare? Here’s our ratings.

Arsenal

Petr Cech – his decline in performance levels has carried on from last season. 35 and no longer has the reactions he once had. 3

Rob Holding – beaten for pace by Vardy every time the ball went behind him. Has a little work to do to justify the hype that surrounded him at the end of last season. 2
Nacho Monreal – looked nervy, lacking the height and physical qualities to be a commanding centre-back. 3
Sead Kolasinac – made some positive attacking contributions and used his power to good effect. 7

Hector Bellerin – stretched play well but left a big gap in behind him which exposed Holding against Vardy. 5
Granit Xhaka – had some nice touches and got two crucial assists in the closing stages. Could grow into one of the best central midfielders in the top flight. 7
Mohamed Elneny – crossed the ball for Lacazette but looked a tad slow after the break and was rightly taken off. 4
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – stretched play well, especially when deployed on the left. At times in the first half he was forced to do too much work on his own. 6

Mesut Ozil – guilty of slowing play down on occasions in the first half and looked disinterested at times. Fired wide at the back post in the second half. 4
Alexandre Lacazette – took his 2nd minute goal ruthlessly and at times showed wonderful pace and footwork. An encouraging debut. 7
Danny Welbeck – anonymous baring his goal, which was one of the easiest goals he’ll score. 5

Aaron Ramsey (on 67) – injected movement and purpose into Arsenal’s midfield, scoring a crucial leveller that changed the dynamics of the match. 10
Olivier Giroud (on 67) – the perfect man to have against deep lying opposition due to his aerial prowess. An excellent headed late winner. 10
Theo Walcott (on 75) – added some extra pace to Arsenal’s play. 7

Leicester City

Kasper Schmeichel – made some good saves early in the second half but was unable to keep the Gunners at bay. 4

Danny Simpson – backed off Chamberlain and Kolasinac a lot of the time, partly due to lack of support in front of him. 2
Wes Morgan – his failure to contain Lacazette was a factor behind Arsenal’s first and second goals. It may be that he has run his course. 2
Harry Maguire – impressive for long spells of the first half. Could have been more commanding late on but not as bad a debut as the scoreline might suggest. 5
Christian Fuchs – enjoyed a positive first half, but found himself pushed back more in the latter stages. 5

Riyad Mahrez – his lack of commitment off the ball cost Leicester defensively. Aside from his corner for Vardy’s second, he did not provide the quality with the ball to justify such a languid demeanour. 3
Wilfred Ndidi – covered a lot of ground, but was guilty of switching off in the latter stages. 5
Matty James – worked hard and stuck to the task. Arguably a little unlucky to be taken off. 6
Marc Albrighton – put in the cross that led to the equalizer and did some useful covering work. No coincidence that Leicester’s sturdiest full-back had Albrighton in front of him, rather than Mahrez. 6

Shinji Okazaki – scored the equalizer and pressed effectively. Leicester missed his shrewd positional play when he went off. 8
Jamie Vardy – razor sharp. Caused all sorts of problems for Holding through his runs down the left channel and thoroughly deserved his two goals. 9

Daniel Amartey (on 72) – his arrival meant Leicester dropped into their shell and gave Arsenal space to shoot. 4
Kelechi Iheanacho (on 82) – lacked the tenacity and tactical intelligence to fill Okazaki’s pressing role, which was what Leicester needed out of possession. 4
Demarai Gray (on 88)