Leicester wilt in Emirates cauldron

There was a buoyancy to the Emirates, fuelled by the good pre-season, fine window to date and the Palace result.

The raucous atmosphere helped see Arsenal over the line.

Same eleven as at Palace. Zinchenko preferred to Tierney on the left. Partey making his 50th appearance and a home debut for Gabriel Jesus.

Gabriel Jesus – a true multi-player

Leicester, dubbed as the club standing still-and therefore ‘in decline’ came with a fox in sheep’s clothing’ image. They still have quality players who could score at any moment, and resolute defenders including William Saliba’s old defensive partner at St Etienne, Wesley Fofana, set to become the world’s most expensive defender. They were unchanged from the 2-2 at Brentford.

Arsenal’s pressing was impressive, as was the quick one twos and interchanges once regaining possession. Jesus is at least three-in-one player, a multi-player. A fox-in-the -box, a target man, and a winger, who can dribble dangerously in the area. And as such his assists should be high this season.

Great to see William Saliba, applauded for every touch after his own goal. As Arteta said, it helped his confidence, and he’s not seen that reaction before over an own goal.

In the third minute though his ex-St Etienne colleague, dribbled through two tackles and fired low shot but Ramsdale was down and covered. And soon he was felling Martinelli in a dangerous position and then was booked for hauling back the Brazilian breaking on the left six minutes later.

Leicester relied on the counter and Ramsdale tipped a dangerous cross away from the on-running Justin.

Xhaka was noticeable in advanced positions and on 19 ran in meeting Saka’s looping cross and hit the post with Zinchenko firing the rebound over.

On 22 a neat triangle between Martinelli, Xhaka and Jesus, found the centre forward with a small amount of space and he chipped the Leicester defence and goalkeeper Ward perfectly from a difficult angle for his first Arsenal goal.

Martinelli sent in a corner on 35. Arsenal tormentor, Vardy flicked it on, and it was as if the ball was drawn magnetically to Jesus’s head and into the net for his second. Arsenal’s outfield players got in a circular huddle. But Zinchenko was on his own in his own half.

Ramsdale sent a long punt, and the Brazilian trapped it, turned Evans but Ndidi and Ward cleared denying the hat-trick.

A one two between Martinelli and Jesus saw Ward denying him a second time.

Near half-time Vardy dived in front of Ramsdale on a crossfield ball and was caught minimally. VAR denied the penalty.

After half-time Evans send a diagonal ball which was headed into the area by Castagne and Saliba intervened and headed past Ramsdale and into the net. The crowd applauded everything the Frenchman did after that. As Arteta said – he’d never seen that before for an own goal.

A minute later, a cross from White, saw Ward bumping into Fofana who was too deep, and he dropped the ball at Jesus’s feet, who flicked it to the unmarked Xhaka who fired home.

Jesus went on a slalom dribble beating three players and firing across goal.

Maddison sent a ball into the area and Iheanacho send it to Daka but was cleared by Saliba.

And soon after Iheanacho set Maddison away on the right and the midfielder hit it low and hard through Ramsdale’s legs and into the net.

But soon after Odegaard won the ball back high up and sent it to Jesus who passed sideways to Martinelli who turned and fired a low shot into the left hand corned or the net.

Jesus had the third clear-cut chance for his hat-trick as the ball ricocheted and bounced invitingly but he sent it wide.

Partey nearly made it five from a corner, but it went the wrong side of the post.

Mikel Arteta said: “I am really happy. It was a good performance. Leicester had their moments, but it was the result we wanted.

“We know what Gabi can do. He’s upset. He could have scored four. We need that mentality. He is sharp and intuitive and a real threat.

The Spaniard said the game showed a connection between the team and the fans and that he was happier with William than after the Palace game.

“The speed of interaction is at another level. We give the players structure in the shape, but they have the freedom to decide.”

Brendan Rogers said: “It was a mixed bag – good moments but we made mistakes at key moments.

On being asked whether transfer speculation had affected the players, he said: “The spirit of the team kept fighting until the end.”

On Jesus, he said: “it is what a new signing gives to everyone else. Him and Zinchenko come from a world class environment. And Saliba will do well having seen him since he was 17. If you can bring in quality, it galvanises the others.”

Premier League: Arsenal 4 Leicester City 2

Arsenal: 1Ramsdale, 4White (Substituted for Tomiyasu at 75’minutes, Booked at 90mins), 12Saliba, 6Gabriel, 35Zinchenko, Substituted for Tierney at 77’minutes), 5Partey, 34Xhaka, 7Saka (Substituted for Smith Rowe, at 84’minutes), 8Ødegaard, 11Martinelli, 9Gabriel Jesus, Substituted for Nketiah at 84’minutes

Leicester City: 1Ward, 3Fofana, Booked at 16mins, 6Evans, 18Amartey, Substituted for Daka at 63’minutes, 27Castagne, 8Tielemans, Substituted for Praet at 63’minutes,25Ndidi, 22Dewsbury-Hall, 2Justin, 10Maddison, 9Vardy, Substituted for Iheanacho at 70’minutes