Mikel Arteta’s young Arsenal side put on an impressive performance in front of a packed Emirates Stadium crowd for their 2022-23 Premier League home opener in a 4-2 win over Brendan Rodgers’ hapless Leicester City.
The Gunners came into the weekend on the back of a 2-0 win against Crystal Palace last Friday but gave the red half of north London cause for celebration on the back of a man of the match performance from summer signing Gabriel Jesus.
Jesus failed to open his account against the Eagles last week but has already shown he can be the man to lead the forward life after bagging two goals and adding two assists while directly contributing to all of Arsenal’s goals on the afternoon.
Gabriel Martinelli made it two goals in two while Granit Xhaka opened his account early this season, with all three players performing expertly for Mikel Arteta.
Arsenal fans also had the chance to welcome both Takehiro Tomiyasu and Kieran Tierney back into the fold with the full-back pair coming off the bench in the second half, now re-establishing the club’s depth on the flanks of the back four.
Unfortunately for French starlet William Saliba, an own goal marred his own home debut for the Gunners after an error in judgment saw his headed backpass miss the mark and bounce past Aaron Ramsdale at the near post.
The only bright spot for Leicester came from England midfielder James Maddison after a well-struck effort found its way into the back of the net through Ramsdale’s legs from a tight angle after second-half substitute Kelechi Iheanacho combined well with Maddison during the run of play to craft one of the only decent chances the Foxes managed to muster.
Rodgers’ men have now allowed six goals in their opening two fixtures while taking just one point in the process, and with continued speculation around the futures of both Wesley Fofana and Youri Tielemans, things may go from bad to worse quickly.
Arsenal Player Ratings
Aaron Ramsdale (6) - Nothing brilliant from Ramsdale this afternoon, who needed to do better with Maddison’s effort that beat him between his legs. Blameless for the own-goal.
Ben White (6.5) - Another fairly decent outing for White at right-back as Takehiro Tomiyasu looks to get back to full fitness. Hardly a problem area.
William Saliba (6) - In what would otherwise have been another credible performance by the young French center-back, a poor own goal hits his rating appropriately.
Gabriel Magalhães (6.5) - Hard to gauge and maybe his rating is a bit low if for no other reason than he was barely tested throughout as Leicester scrapped the bottom of the barrel.
Oleksandr Zinchenko (6.5) - The Ukrainian looks to continue to get his feet under him at Arsenal and was more or less assured throughout his performance.
Thomas Partey (7) - Partey was long thought of as a box-to-box midfielder at Atlético Madrid, but is proving to be a very competent 6 for Mikel Arteta and showed that again here.
Granit Xhaka (8) - In what was one of his best performances for Arsenal, Xhaka is now showing the fans what he was capable of when he shone at Borussia Mönchengladbach every week.
Bukayo Saka (7) - A good display from the England starlet despite failing to be directly involved in any of the goals. His influence on the team is still visible.
Martin Ødegaard (6.5) - Solid as ever in his ability to control the ebb and flow of proceedings but he is still not firing on all cylinders just yet.
Gabriel Martinelli (8.5) - Two goals in two for the Brazilian sparkplug in a very good day at the office while troubling Fofana on more than a handful of occasions.
Gabriel Jesus (10) - A magnificent performance from the new leading striker in north London after a 2 goal and 2 assist performance and 100% goal involvement on his home debut in the Premier League.
Takehiro Tomiyasu (sub; 6) - Fifteen minutes into his legs and booked late on, but Arsenal fans will be glad he is back into the fold.
Kieran Tierney (sub; 6) - Another welcomed site for Gunners supporters is the return of the much=liked Kieran Tierney. Did not do much but his return offers increased depth again.
Emile Smith Rowe (sub; N/A) - Six minutes plus stoppage. Hardly anything to judge on.
Eddie Nketiah (sub; N/A) - See above.
Leicester City Player Ratings
Danny Ward (6) - Committed a blunder that led to Granit Xhaka’s close-range tap-in, but otherwise, he was solid after making a handful of good saves on a busy day at the office.
Wesley Fofana (6.5) - The Chelsea target struggled to deal with Martinelli and also picked up a booking, but was relatively solid despite that, and nearly scored a wondergoal in the process.
Jonny Evans (6) - Evans is beginning to show age in his legs despite being the central defensive figure for Leicester. All things considered, he was okay overall.
Daniel Amartey (6.5) - On a day where Leicester was under pressure throughout, the Ghanaian utility man was fairly alright once again in a deputizing role in defense.
Timothy Castagne (6) - An okay outing from the Belgian international, but has not started the season in a way commensurate with what had many raving about last season.
James Justin (6) - Performed similarly to Castange on the other flank. Was not poor overall but still lacks the same influence as some of his predecessors.
Youri Tielemans (6) - Conspiracy theorists unite as the Belgian international put in a sub-standard performance against a club he’s been linked to all summer.
Wilfried Ndidi (7) - Quietly going about his business, as usual, Ndidi is one of the unsung heroes in the Premier League. He was good again in a holding midfield capacity.
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (6.5) - Showed some good intent going forward at times but the question to be asked is whether he can consistently perform to justify a starting birth.
James Maddison (7.5) - Got a bit lucky on his goal but Maddison will no doubt take it as he remains Leicester’s in-form player in what was a good all-around display.
Jamie Vardy (6) - A poor attempt at winning a penalty rounded off the afternoon for the English veteran, through no fault of his own as he was largely stranded up top.
Dennis Praet (sub; 6) - Was hardly any better than his Belgian compatriot who he replaced in central midfield. A far cry from the Anderlecht standout he once was.
Patson Daka (sub; 6) - Big things were expected of Daka after his arrival from RB Salzburg last season, but without consistent starts, he will likely keep falling well short of the mark.
Kelechi Iheanacho (sub; 6.5) - Came on and bagged an assist on Maddison’s goal and showed a liveliness that the Foxes needed to pull themselves to just one goal down at the time.