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  • Julian Taylor at Emirates Stadium

Foxes dazzled by Jesus at the double for fresh and vibrant Arsenal



Arsenal 4-2 Leicester City


Ambitious Arsenal set the controls for the heart of the sun, with a vibrant, colourful display to see off Leicester City.


Gabriel Jesus is fast becoming the new hero for the North Bank, the Brazilian’s first half double establishing what was to be, for the majority of the clash, a dominance from Mikel Arteta’s refreshed outfit.


The Gunners were largely resilient against the Foxes, who showed only the occasional dabble of threat. And, for the second game in succession they were steely enough, save for an obvious error from William Saliba which led to a brief burst of hope from Brendan Rodgers’ men.

Ultimately, Saliba’s driven team-mates ensured the mistake can be largely forgotten about, as Arsenal’s strong start to the season continues. James Maddison made life a little anxious in the 74th minute before Arsenal swept up the field to make it 4-2, Gabriel Martinelli keeping his cool with a crisp low finish.


Expectant


With the sun searing down in north London, these are the sort of days to be savoured by supporters. Shirt-sleeved optimism, a new term with a full house at the Emirates expectant.

Arteta’s side made an ideal start to the season, carving out a 2-0 win at Crystal Palace; a venue where the Gunners demonstrated the kind of fortitude which has been lacking in previous campaigns.


The Foxes’ visit was a template, of sorts. Could Arsenal dominate a vibrant Leicester City, a team renowned for pace and counter-attacking incision? Victory against Rodgers’ team would unquestionably send out the right kind of micro message to the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool, even if Arsenal realists would happily concede their side, for all it’s youthful savvy, is still a considerable distance from title-chasing material.


Arteta kept the same line-up which overcame Palace and, following an early scare when Aaron Ramsdale smothered a close range effort from Wesley Fofana, the Gunners proceeded to knit together and dictate the tempo.

City had appeared resilient enough, until they realised – too late as it transpired - that approximately £45m worth of street smart, savoir faire can be their undoing. Jesus picked the ball up at a tempting angle around a dozen yards out, and with three Foxes in close attendance, the new recruit from Manchester City still managed to curl the ball into the top corner. Minimal back lift, maximum joy, as the majority of the Emirates crowd erupted.


Questions were asked of Leicester after they relinquished a two goal lead at home on their opening game to draw with Brentford – and they soon found themselves in double trouble, with the hosts expressing themselves rather lavishly.

In the 34th minute, Jesus managed to peel away at the far post to deliver a neat header into the net, following luckless Jamie Vardy’s flick on from Martinelli’s corner, flighted in from the left. Unlike last season, this was Arsenal more zesty and making capital from possession and strength.


Drama


Nevertheless, that confidence was tested briefly when the Foxes pulled a goal back amid a couple of minutes of drama at each end. Saliba – who Arteta has high hopes for at the heart of the defence – responded to James Justin’s hopeful 52nd minute header on from a long punt up the field by somehow nodding past Ramsdale. In mitigation, the former Saint Etienne player had Vardy lurking with intent but it was still a clumsy moment for the north Londoners.


For this rejuvenated Arsenal, though, there was no panic – and they made it 3-1 instantly. Granit Xhaka, that most controversial of figures, was on hand to force the ball home after a mix up between Leicester keeper Danny Ward and Fofana. A timely spark to relieve the briefest spell of agitation from the Gunners.


Still, it wouldn’t be like Arsenal to make life tricky for themselves from time to time – and Maddison crashing in an angled right foot drive under Ramsdale, caused another bout of concern.


Responding quickly yet again, Jesus set up Martinelli a minute later, for a goal made in Brazil. Martinelli took aim from 20 yards out to drill, left footed, into the corner of the net. With that, the Foxes’ stealthy resistance was finally extinguished.

Drifting off into the sun, the happy Arsenal fans got their money’s worth in the end. Eliminating the odd lapse aside, there can be more hazy afternoons for the Gunners this term.


Gunners: Ramsdale, White (Tomiyasu 74), Gabriel, Saliba, Zinchenko (Tierney 76), Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard, Saka (Smith Rowe 83) , Martinelli, Jesus (Nketiah 83)

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