Arsène Wenger praises match-winner Olivier Giroud for staying at Arsenal

Doug Mendoza
August 12, 2017

Arsenal fans have expressed their love for centre-forward Olivier Giroud after he scored the winning goal in the last few minutes of their Premier League opening clash against Leicester City.

ARSENE Wenger saw substitute Olivier Giroud score a late victor to see off Leicester before admitting he gave the striker a chance to leave the Emirates Stadium this summer. He also labelled the former Montpellier marksman as being "in his prime" and "at the top of his game".

"At some stage it didn't look like (a win)".

"We kept going and the spirit of the team was absolutely outstanding", Wenger said.

"The first goal was from a short corner and we were not focused enough".

Giroud's compatriot Alexandre Lacazette marked his league debut with a goal in just 94 seconds, only for Shinji Okazaki to level for the Foxes less than three minutes later.

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One new recruit, defender Harry Maguire, felt Leicester gave the hosts a run for their money and - despite heading back to the east midlands with nothing to show for it - believes the display will hold them in good stead.

The electric start to the campaign, with a match on the Friday night opening the league programme for the first time, was the prologue for a fast match of punch and counter-punch.

Vardy put the visitors 2-1 ahead just before the half hour, darting into the box to rifle another fine Albrighton cross past Cech after the winger had pounced on a poor square ball from Arsenal midfielder Mezut Ozil. After that, though, Leicester City had the Gunners on the ropes for most of the game, taking a 3-2 lead in the second half off of Jamie Vardy's second goal of the match.

The pressure eventually told as, in the space of two minutes late on, Ramsey controlled Granit Xhaka's pass and smartly tucked past Schmeichel, before fellow sub Giroud headed in off the bar from a corner to earn maximum points for his side.

Giroud had been linked with an exit during the summer, and Wenger admitted he considered allowing his most authentic target man to leave but the 30-year-old resisted the idea.

Other reports by GizPress

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