FOOTBALL

Giroud shines in Arsenal opening thriller

Olivier Giroud completed an exhilarating comeback as Arsenal beat Leicester 4-3 to ensure Arsene Wenger's side opened the English Premier League campaign with a victory for only the second time in eight seasons.

Arsenal turned around the league's first Friday opener in the closing minutes at Emirates Stadium. After Aaron Ramsey levelled in the 83rd minute, Giroud sealed the three points within two minutes on an evening of thrilling attacks gifted by fragile defending.

Record signing Alexandre Lacazette got off to a perfect start by scoring within two minutes of kick-off. But as so often happens in the opening round, Arsenal imploded as Shinji Okazaki and Jamie Vardy put Leicester in front.

Although Danny Welbeck levelled on the stroke of halftime, Vardy restored Leicester's lead after the break. But Leicester, who so astonishingly won the league in 2016, couldn't hold on for a first win at Arsenal since 1973. Instead, Wenger avoided a third successive season-opening loss at the start of his new two-year contract.

AP