Olivier Giroud earns Arsenal opening day Premier League win over Leicester City

Giroud's late strike powers Arsenal past Leicester City in the Premier League opener

But it was a different story at the other end as Wenger called upon additional firepower in the form of Aaron Ramsey and Giroud to turn the match around inside the final seven minutes and ward off a return to last season's febrile atmosphere of protest on home turf - at least for the time being.

Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare said he was "disappointed" that referee Mike Dean did not spot what he described as a "definite handball" by Mesut Ozil in the build-up to Ramsey's equaliser.

Arsenal on Friday had to twice come from behind to secure a thrilling win.

"I opened the door for him at some stage [to leave], because I know that it's important for him to play", Wenger said in his postgame news conference.

And the 30-year-old proved his worth with another vital goal after coming on as a substitute - but is hoping for a more substantial role at the club.

"I prefer to be on the pitch as much as I can but I want to help the team reach the targets", he said.

This was surely one of the best Premier League opening weekend games in years.

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In the build-up to Friday's game Wenger repeatedly stressed the importance of beginning with a positive result against Leicester - and the Gunners appeared to have listened to their manager as they made the dream start.

The £55 million signing from Lyon powered a pearler of a header into the Leicester net from Mohamed Elneny's cross - just around 90 seconds into the 2017-18 Premier League season.

Lacazette scored with only his second touch in the Premier League.

But after winning a record seventh FA Cup with victory over Chelsea, he penned a new two-year contract and his side's Houdini act against Leicester means that late-season momentum remains intact, albeit only just.

Leicester are without Danny Drinkwater and Vicente Iborra at the Emirates Stadium, but wantaway playmaker Riyad Mahrez does start in the midst of heavy speculation linking him to a move to Serie A.

The Foxes were leading 3-2, thanks to goals from Shinji Okazaki and a double from Jamie Vardy, but City defended two set-pieces inside three manic minutes poorly allowing the Gunners to snatch the points. Ramsey tied the score 3-3 in the 83rd minute with a nice strike from inside the penalty area, and Giroud got the victor two minutes later with a header that Kasper Schmeichel was unable to keep out of the net.

Arsenal stepped things up, Schmeichel saving from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and home debutant Sead Kolasinac, but they were careless in possession and shortly before the half-hour, Leicester went in front for the first time.

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