Arsenal 4-2 Leicester: Gabriel Jesus scores his first two Gunners goals as Mikel Arteta’s men make it two Premier League wins from two

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Mikel Arteta described his new signing Gabriel Jesus as a “real threat” after the Brazilian turned in a red-hot performance, scoring his first two competitive goals for Arsenal and then coming up with two assists in a dramatic 4-2 win over Leicester on a sweltering afternoon at Emirates Stadium.

The Brazilian was unfazed by the heat hitting 33C in north London, bending in a brilliant opener with the help of a slight deflection (23) before nodding in his second (35) after Jamie Vardy unintentionally flicked a corner to the back post to mark his first Emirates Premier League appearance as a Gunner in style.

Vardy had a penalty award rightly taken away after VAR Mike Dean advised referee Darren England to re-assess the minimal contact between Ramsdale and the striker just before half-time. Temperatures rose in the stadium when a replay was shown on the big screen, with the Foxes frontman loudly booed.

The action and goals continued to flow after the break, with Leicester twice getting a foothold in the match and Arsenal twice swiftly striking back. First, an own goal from the otherwise impressive William Saliba (53) was countered two minutes later by an equally bad blunder from Leicester ‘keeper Danny Ward, which allowed Jesus to tee up Granit Xhaka to sweep in. And then James Maddison’s drive (74) was followed within 60 seconds by Gabriel Martinelli’s second of the season.

Image: Granit Xhaka is mobbed by his team-mates after scoring Arsenal’s third goal

Arsenal could easily have scored more – Xhaka and Jesus hit the woodwork in either half – but two wins from two builds their early-season confidence, while Leicester – who have only signed back-up ‘keeper Alex Smithies in the transfer window and drew at home to Brentford last weekend – were again exposed by a set-piece and looked in need of additions.

“We know what Gabby [Jesus] can do,” said Arteta afterwards. “He scored two and set up two and he’s disappointed because he says he could have scored four. That’s the sort of mentality you need. I wouldn’t like to play against him. He’s so mobile, intuitive, sharp and proactive in any moment or phase of the game.”

Player ratings

Arsenal: Ramsdale (6), White (7), Saliba (6), Gabriel (7), Zinchenko (7), Partey (7), Xhaka (8), Saka (7), Odegaard (7), Martinelli (8), Jesus (8)

Subs: Tomiyasu (6), Tierney (6), Nketiah (N/A), Smith Rowe (N/A)

Leicester: Ward (4), Fofana (5), Evans (5), Amartey (5), Justin (6), Ndidi (6), Tielemans (6), Castagne (6), Dewsbury-Hall (6), Maddison (7), Vardy (5).

Subs: Praet (6), Daka (6), Iheanacho (7)

Man of the Match: Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal)

How Jesus became the new Arsenal star

The heatwave had little impact on a fast, frantic match, which almost began with an opening goal from Wesley Fofana, who forced a good save from Ramsdale after nicking the ball off Xhaka.

From then on Arsenal took control for much of the half, with Jesus glancing Martinelli’s free-kick into the side-netting and Xhaka striking the woodwork with a header from Bukayo Saka’s centre, before Jesus’ 12-minute double either side of the drinks break took his tally against Leicester to seven goals in eight Premier League appearances.

Image: Gabriel Jesus celebrates his second goal at the Emirates

The incident-packed half concluded with Vardy’s penalty being scrubbed off after ref England checked the pitchside monitor and didn’t see enough contact between the forward and Gunners’ goalkeeper Ramsdale to uphold his original decision – and after a 15-minute breather the teams were at it again.

Team news

Arsenal and Leicester stuck with the same starting XIs they played on the opening weekend – and in Leicester’s case they named an identical squad.

Cedric Soares and the injured Reiss Nelson came out of the Gunners’ group, with fit-again Takehiro Tomiyasu and Emile Smith Rowe taking their spots on the bench.

A communication breakdown between Saliba and Ramsdale handed Leicester a lifeline, with the home support silenced as the Frenchman steered the ball back into his own goal. The Arsenal supporters were cheering again within a couple of minutes, though, when Ward got in a tangle with Fofana and spilled Martinelli’s high cross, allowing Jesus to prod the ball to Xhaka to sweep in.

After going 60 minutes without a shot of their own, Leicester came close to finding the net when sub Kelechi Iheanacho combined with Patson Daka, and Iheanacho linked up with Maddison soon after for the Englishman to drill a second Foxes goal through the legs of Ramsdale.

Set-pieces: The good and the bad

Since the start of last season, no side has scored more Premier League goals from corners than Arsenal (15), while Leicester have conceded the most such goals in the competition in that time (17).

This time Arsenal had to wait less than 60 seconds for a response, with Martinelli working space for a left-foot shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box after being picked out by Jesus.

Jesus almost grabbed his hat-trick as Arsenal finished on top, hitting a post from a tight angle, but by then he’d already shone in the sunshine and claimed his role as a new Gunners hero.

Jesus’ dream home debut for Arsenal

Arteta: Jesus disappointed he didn’t score four

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Mikel Arteta described Arsenal’s 4-2 win against Leicester City as a ‘big performance’ and highlighted the impact of Gabriel Jesus after the Brazilian scored twice in the win.

Arsenal boss, Mikel Arteta: “I’m really happy. It was a big performance. A really good football match from both sides, Leicester had their moments as well. We know what Gabby [Jesus] can do, scored two and set up two and he’s disappointed because he says he could have scored four. That’s the sort of mentality you need. I wouldn’t like to play against him. He’s so mobile, intuitive, sharp and proactive in any moment or phase of the game. He’s a real threat.”

On Saliba: “What the crowd did with Saliba after the own goal was something in my career I haven’t seen. That lifted the confidence of William and how he played the last minutes after that and the team as well. I’m happier with him today than against Crystal Palace because the way he played after that was incredible.”

Arsenal vs Leicester FPL stats

Goals Jesus (two), Xhaka, Martinelli; Saliba (OG), Maddison
Assists Jesus (two), Xhaka, Iheanacho
Bonus points Jesus (3pts), Xhaka (2pts), Martinelli (1pt)

Rodgers: Mistakes cost us; set-piece goal unfortunate

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Brendan Rodgers felt mistakes cost Leicester City in their 4-2 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates stadium. The Foxes conceded within minutes after both of their goals and Rodgers felt lapses in their concentration really affected them.

Leicester boss, Brendan Rodgers: “It was a mixed bag for us today. We had some really good moments but in key moments we made mistakes. At 2-1, we were in a good place in the game and at 3-2 with 15 minutes to go, we had good momentum. It’s disappointing in that aspect.

“But you saw the spirit of the team. They kept going right until the end and if we don’t make the mistakes for the goals the scoreline is much closer. I have to give big credit to the players. On a really hot day, they were very competitive, made mistakes but kept fighting, kept working.”

On conceding from a set-piece: “There was a lot made of our set piece [record] last season, which was hugely disappointing. That one [today] was unfortunate. Vards flicks it on and he scores at the back post. From what I’ve seen in this early part of the season we’ve looked strong [from set-pieces] – and unfortunate in that moment.”

What’s next?

Saturday 20th August 5:00pm Kick off 5:30pm

Arsenal got to Bournemouth live on Sky Sports for Saturday Night Football next weekend, kick-off 5.30pm. Leicester host Southampton at 3pm on Saturday.

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