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Don’t You Just Love the English Premier League?

After a long hiatus, the Premier League graced our screens with a highly anticipated clash between Arsenal and Leicester City. Both clubs endured disastrous campaigns last season by their fair standards with the Gunners failing to qualify for the Champions League while Leicester’s defense of their triumphant EPL title was torrid to say the least.

All eyes were on Arsenal and their new club record signing, Alexandre Lacazette, and it took just 90 seconds for him to make his mark on his new club, adjusting his neck muscles to head home a lovely swung effort from Mohamed Elneny. His celebration was ice cold as well and we were very excited for the new signing scoring such an early but like we do every season, we just had to ‘Arsenal’ it. Captain of the night, Petr Cech, was caught in No Man’s Land as a Macguire header to the danger area from the back post was flicked home by Shinji Okazaki. Things went from bad to worse when Mark Albrighton’s cross was finished aplomb by Jamie Vardy.

What followed was a series of shocking football from the home team with the crowd voicing their frustrations on their side. Right at the stroke of half time, Sead Kolasinac found Danny Welbeck clean on goal and despite his best attempts to miscue the ball, it still crept into the net, leveling the contest at half time. Going into the break at a stalemate wasn’t bad and we were hoping for an improved performance from the side but when Vardy reacted quicker to Riyad Mahrez’s corner, Arsenal was down again, conceding yet another cheap goal that would have been averted.

We needed a response and we got it when the manager brought on Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey for Welbeck and Elneny. The visitors chose a defensive approach, bringing on Daniel Amartey to protect the rearguard but the incessant Arsenal pressure  paid off when Granit Xhaka, who was having a nightmare by the way, dinked one over to Ramsey that blasted the ball in at close range to make it 3-3.

We waited patiently and prayed earnestly to see if the Gunners would get a fourth and they obliged with that gorgeous bearded French bloke, Giroud, nodding what proved to be the winner and his 99th goal for the club. Say what you want about Giroud but he has been a massive player for the club since he joined the team from SC Montpellier in 2012.

Another Premier League season beginning with a roller coaster ride, as Arsenal took its fans through different emotions, starting with sheer delight and elation when Lacazette scored to a feeling of frustration when Leicester got their equalizer. Frustration switched to despair when the visitors extended their lead but that swiftly changed to relief as Welbeck leveled the tie. In the second half, we plunged from our relieved state to depression when they scored a third, and the curses on the time took center stage. I’m pretty sure I saw a few “#WengerOut’ responses but those fans nerved were calmed with Ramsey’s equalizer with the mindset that a draw would not have been a bad result while hoping for a win.

All it took was a Giroud late late goal to send us back to delirium and we danced long into the night celebrating three hard earned points!

Don’t you just love the Premier League?

Sayonara

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Leicester 0-0 Arsenal: A Fair Result in the Grand Scale of Things

Rob Holding v Leicester City

Match ReportMatch HighlightsPost-Match Press Conference

There wasn’t total meltdown following the loss to Liverpool but the fan base of the club were in anguish following a terrible display at home ot Jurgen Klopp’s side. A game against the defending champions wasn’t on to look forward to but they also suffered a shock loss in the League opener against Hull City. The injuries to Aaron Ramsey and Alex Iwobi paved the way for Granit Xhaka and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to get into the side. There was also a shake up in defense as the new vice-captain, Laurent Koscielny, led his troops to battle, having cut short his holiday rest. Koscielny’s return to the side saw Calum Chambers resume his bench warming duties.

The game itself was fiercely contested encounter but kudos should go to Mark Clattenburg for not allowing himself to be fooled by the home side’s antics in the box. On another day, Mike Dean an official would have pointed to the spot for Koscielny’s invisible challenge on Danny Drinkwater or Hector Bellerin’s invisible touch on Ahmed Musa. You know, these things happen.

Still some players have to be mentioned for their outstanding performance on the night. Rob Holding is one of them, putting up a great shift after the torrid time he got on his debut. For a player so young, that lad is very solid, and with his performances from preseason up until this moment, Chambers deserves to spend some time on the bench. With Koscielny next to him, Holding looked very coordinated and tidy in possession. Another positive in my opinion, was the return to action of mercurial midfield maestro, Mesut Ozil and our alpha-dog in attack, Olivier Giroud. Alexis Sanchez is a great chap but he’s no center forward and these games have proved it.

Theo Walcott flattered to deceive yesterday, as he put up one of the frustrating shifts we’ve become accustomed to seeing, while I feel the Ox should have done better with his end product. The inconsistency we continue to face with our English lads. It was a game that could have gone either way, so in my honest opinion, a draw was a very fair result in the grand scale of things. Confidence isn’t as high as we would want, but at least the lads are doing what’s required of them – at least, some of them.

The clean sheet was vital at the home of the defending champions, and the Gunners can do their bit to get their first win of the campaign against Watford next weekend before the international break. Wenger waxed lyrical about Holding’s performance in his presser,

“I believe he had an outstanding performance for a young boy who has never played in the Premier League and played against top strikers today. So I can only reiterate that I am happy to speak about him because it’s good for English football that a young boy gets a chance in a big club in England and shows that he will be a quality player.”

He took a rather offensive demeanor when he was asked about transfers but it’s something we have come to terms with as fans. The club will never release its transfer secrets in public so we have to take a patient approach, even though we are aware that the transfer window closes in 10 days.

Do have a happy Sunday.

Sayonara.

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Leicester Preview: Team News, Injury Updates and Predicted Lineups

Yesterday night saw Manchester United’s new boy, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, continue his great start into the new season, with four goals in his first three games, retaining the Red Devils status at the top of the Premier League. Today, a host of teams would face off against themselves before the day is closed by what would prove to be an exciting clash between Leicester City and Arsenal. Both teams would be eager to get their first set of Premier League points of the season.

This fixture doesn’t favor the Foxes historically, as Claudio Ranieri’s team are on a 19-match winless run against Arsenal in the Premier League (D6, L13) and lost both games last season. You have to go as far back as November 1994 for the last league victory of today’s hosts against their more illustrious opponents.

Leicester Team News

The defending champions are set to welcome Robeth Huth to the starting XI following his suspension for an altercation with Manchester United’s Marouane Fellaini. Jeffery Schlupp has been heavily linked with a move to West Brom but he still remains a Leicester player at the moment. It’s going to be very interesting to see the approach Vardy takes into this game. Not long ago, Arsenal were genuinely interested in his services and activated his release clause but the player turned down the move and stayed with the club. Wenger was understandably asked about his take on how it panned out and as you’d expect, he said he respected Vardy’s decision to stay with Leicester.

Leicester Injuries / Suspensions

None

Leicester Predicted Lineup

leicester

Arsenal Team News

The boss has admitted he could thrust Laurent Koscielny into the fray with the Gunners’ lack of options at the back. As it stands, Arsene Wenger has only Calum Chambers and Rob Holding to call upon, with Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista out for some time. He also confirmed the absences of Aaron Ramsey and Alex Iwobi that suffered fresh injuries on the first game of the season. You have to feel for Iwobi that enjoyed a good preseason campaign and even created an assist for Walcott last weekend. Now he’s crocked.

Thanks to the team’s depth, the manager has a host of players in his disposal he can choose from.

Arsenal Injuries / Suspensions

Per Mertesacker, Carl Jenkinson, Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere (knee), Alex Iwobi (thigh), Aaron Ramsey (hamstring), Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud (lack of match fitness), Serge Gnabry (unavailable due to participation at the Olympic Games)

Arsenal Predicted Lineup

Arsenal 4-2-3-1 football formation

Team Form

Leicester

  • Last Five Games: W L L L L
  • Last Result: Hull 2-1 Leicester
  • Leading Goalscorer: Jamie Vardy (1)

Arsenal

  • Last Five Games: W W W W L
  • Last Result: Arsenal 3-4 Liverpool
  • Leading Goalscorer: Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Calum Chambers (1)

 

Gooner Daily predicts a 2 – 1 win for Arsenal.

Sayonara.

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