Premier League 2017/18: Arsenal 4-3 Leicester, Player Ratings
A detailed look into how the players performed in the Premier League opening day clash between Arsenal and Leicester.
The long wait is finally over, and the Premier League’s curtain raiser did not disappoint. Four first-half goals got pulses racing, before Jamie Vardy headed Leicester into a 3-2 lead after the break, with the Emirates voicing yet more discontent.
However, the way Arsenal came back, with Olivier Giroud’s superb header sealing a dramatic victory was exhilarating. What a start to the season.
Let's take a look at the player ratings from the Premier League encounter between Arsenal and Leicester.
Petr Cech: 6/10
Couldn’t do anything about either Leicester goal as his defence let him down when it really mattered. Lack of communication only added to a feeling of chaos in the Gunners’ defence.
Nacho Monreal: 6/10
Cannot really be blamed for being played in the middle of a back three - Montreal looked like a full-back playing in central defence. His passing was excellent, and did not misplace a pass until the second half. Made some crucial interceptions late on.
Rob Holding: 5/10
Really struggled in possession. His sloppiness almost led to a goal in the first half. Jamie Vardy’s pace unsettled the former Bolton defender early on, and he never really recovered.
Sead Kolasinac: 5/10
Showed brilliant composure to set up Danny Welbeck to make it 2-2, and won all of his duels in the first half, but again his lack of positional awareness at set pieces especially left Arsenal vulnerable.
Hector Bellerin: 6/10
Another whose defending left much to be desired. Should done better on with a great chance in the second half.
Mohamed Elneny: 6/10
Inexplicably gave the ball away for Leicester’s second goal, but was otherwise reasonably solid, finishing the game with a higher pass completion rate than any of his team-mates.
Had double the amount of shots of any of his team-mates, despite playing the latter part of the match as a right-back. Tremendous engine which helped instigate late comeback.
Granit Xhaka: 7/10
A strange game for the Switzerland international. His marking for Leicester’s third was absolutely non-existent, but made up for it with a superb assist for Aaron Ramsey’s leveller. Two assist in the match. Really in the thick of it, touching the ball more times than anyone on the pitch.
Mesut Ozil: 7/10
As you would expect, Ozil finished the game having made more key passes than anyone else on the pitch. His finishing was wayward when he needed to be more accurate late on, but never stopped trying to create.
Danny Welbeck: 8/10
Missed a great chance from Ozil’s pullback in the first half, but didn't let his head drop. Got a deserved second and constantly tried to find space. His sublime pass for Bellerin in the second half deserved finishing off.
Alexandre Lacazette: 7/10
Got his Arsenal career off to the dream start with early goal. Brilliantly controlled header. Was unlucky with late chance with the scores at 3-3 and showed great workrate to chase down lost causes on several occasions.
Oliver Giroud: 8/10
The super-sub strikes again. So often makes an impact off the bench. His header for the winner, under pressure from two defenders, both tugging his shirt, was nothing short of world class.
Aaron Ramsey: 8/10
Another superb replacement from Arsene Wenger. Ramsey really injected some impetus, and took his goal expertly. Has so much talent, just needs consistency.
Theo Walcott: 6/10
Unlike the other changes, Walcott had very little impact,
Kasper Schmeichel: 6/10
Arsenal rained in 27 shots on Schmeichel’s goal - 10 on target. Schmeichel made some great blocks at crucial moments, but the chances kept coming. Faultless on every goal.
Christian Fuchs: 5/10
No player gave the ball away on more occasions than Fuchs at the Emirates. Got forward well, but his final pass was really lacking. Too slow to close down the cross, too.
Danny Simpson: 5/10
Another player who was very sloppy on the ball. Only gave the ball away less than Fuchs because he had fewer touches. Very little impact on the break.
Wes Morgan: 5/10
Much of the poor organisation at the back has to go down to Morgan. His job is to ensure everyone knows their job on a set play, and doesn’t go charging out to the ball, like Leicester did for Ramsey leveller. Poor marking on Lacazette for opener.
Harry Maguire: 6/10
Made more blocks than anyone on the pitch, and showed his class on the ball on numerous occasions. Tough opener in new side.
Marc Albrighton: 7/10
Gets a higher mark simply for how wonderful his cross was for Vardy’s first goal. Absolutely on a sixpence. Otherwise had little other impact.
Wilfred Ndidi: 5/10
Strangely poor performance from a player with a real burgeoning reputation. When Leicester needed him to keep possession, he gave the ball away.
Matty James: 6/10
Unfortunate to be withdrawn late on, and the Foxes looked much more vulnerable than when James had been replaced. No player in blue won more tackles.
Riyad Mahrez: 5/10
Aside from one great assist for Vardy and another superb long-range pass to the England hitman, Mahrez was poor and didn’t look interested for long periods. Only Fuchs gave the ball away more often.
Shinji Okazaki: 7/10
Always the same with Okazaki - works tirelessly, carries the attack to opponents, great in the air, brave and always a willing runner. Deserved goal. Once again didn’t complete the match!
Jamie Vardy 9/10
Back to his best on Friday night. Arsenal couldn’t handle him. An incredible finish for his first goal was then followed by an even more well-taken header for what could have been the winner. Pace caused Arsenal all sorts of problems.
Daniel Amartey: 5/10
Could only look on as Arsenal came back.
Demarai Gray: N/A
No time to make an impact.
Kelechi Iheanacho: N/A
Inadvertently played a part in Arsenal turning the match on its head, with James no longer in midfield.