Olivier Giroud’s 85th minute goal has helped Arsenal open the Premier League season, with a 4-3 victory over Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium on Friday night.
A delighted Arsene Wenger praised the France international who had been recently linked with a return home to join Marseille.
“It’s fantastic” he said, “I must tell you I opened the door for him at some stage (to leave) because it’s important for him to play. But I don’t want him to go and in the end he decided to stay.
“It was one of the great days of recent weeks for me because I know how important he is. Not only as a player, he’s a fantastic player but as well in the group. He has a big weight in this squad and it was a relief for me that he decided to stay.”
As has been the case of late, Giroud had found himself on the bench as new arrival and club record signing Alexandre Lacazette, made his mark in his Arsenal debut, getting his name on the scoresheet after just 94 seconds.
Although not wanting to be renowned as a Super Sub, Giroud has scored seven of his last ten goals in the final 10 minutes of each game and this game was no exception, coming off the bench to score the crucial winner with just 5 minutes left on the clock.
After Lacazette’s initial opener, Leicester were equal just 2 minutes later through Okazaki, before Jamie Vardy, who was heavily linked with Arsenal 12 months ago, put Leicester ahead in the 28th minute with the first of a brace.
Danny Welbeck drew Arsenal level at the end of the first half after taking advantage after Kolasinac coolly played the ball across the six-yard box.
Leicester went ahead once again through Vardy in the 56th minute. Not long after, Aaron Ramsey and Giroud came off the bench with both having an instant impact on the game.
Ramsey scored in the 83rd minute putting an excellent effort past Schmeichel before Giroud produces a sublime header, which bounces in off the crossbar and seals the Gunner’s win.