Premier League

Arsenal 4-2 Leicester City: Player ratings as Gabriel Jesus bags brace on home debut

Grey Whitebloom
Gabriel Jesus had a hand in four goals in his first Premier League match as an Arsenal player at the Emirates
Gabriel Jesus had a hand in four goals in his first Premier League match as an Arsenal player at the Emirates / Craig Mercer/MB Media/GettyImages
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Arsenal emerged with all three points from a helter-skelter 4-2 thriller against Leicester City at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon.

Leicester tried to clog and crowd Arsenal's possession play in the middle third of the pitch but were intermittently bypassed by some mesmeric interplay from the hosts.

Surrounded by a gaggle of opposition players in Leicester's box, Gabriel Jesus broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute with an impudent, lofted finish which sailed over a stranded Danny Ward.

Barely ten minutes had elapsed before Jesus doubled his and Arsenal's tally, sneaking in at the back post to nod a corner over the line from one yard out.

Buoyed by their Brazilian's brace, Arsenal popped the ball around with a swagger, living up to the lofty billing Brendan Rodgers had given the hosts pre-game. Combining in the little pockets of space between the lines that had appeared too tight to begin with, Jesus squandered a number of chances to nab a hat-trick.

Jamie Vardy, so often Arsenal's scourge in the past, thought he'd won his side a penalty on the cusp of half-time before Darren England overturned his decision with the help of VAR.

Just as they did in the first half, Leicester came out from kick-off sharply. James Justin got the run on Ben White, nodding down Jonny Evans' diagonal. With Vardy lurking behind him, William Saliba ducked his head, turning the ball past his own goalkeeper.

A blunder from Ward restored Arsenal's two-goal advantage 105 seconds after Saliba's error at the other end. Leicester's new number one limply patted down a hopeful cross to the feet of Jesus, who turned provider as he shovelled the ball into the path of an all-action Granit Xhaka, buccaneering into the box to rifle in Arsenal's third.

In search of a first win of the season, Rodgers tossed on a pair of strikers for the final 20 minutes. One of those additions, Kelechi Iheanacho, combined with James Maddison down the right, teeing up Leicester's number ten for a fizzed effort which scuttled under Aaron Ramsdale from a tight angle in the 74th minute.

Yet, Arsenal had to wait less than a minute before landing another blow in this enthralling slugfest as Gabriel Martinelli drilled in a fourth for the Gunners from the edge of the box, firing Arsenal towards their second successive win of the season.


Arsenal vs Leicester player ratings

1. Arsenal (4-2-3-1)

GK: Aaron Ramsdale - 4/10 - After being rightly bailed out by VAR, Ramsdale played an unflattering role in the concession of both Leicester goals.

RB: Ben White - 5/10 - Backed up Bukayo Saka down the right, White wasn't entirely comfortable when forced into a footrace with James Justin.

CB: William Saliba - 5/10 - What had been a commanding display on and off the ball was undermined by his misplaced header.

CB: Gabriel - 5/10 - Had space to carry the ball forward but was timid when stepping into Leicester's half.

LB: Oleksandr ZInchenko - 7/10 - Overtly tucked into midfield when Arsenal had the ball, knitting the play together superbly.

CM: Thomas Partey - 6/10 - Quick to punch his passes forward, doing his best to avoid the tempo dropping to a crawl.

CM: Granit Xhaka - 8/10 - Tasked with dropping behind Zinchenko and bursting into Leicester's box, Xhaka was involved all over the pitch, hitting the post and getting an assist aside from his goal.

AM: Martin Odegaard - 5/10 - Floating around the right half-space, the skipper seemed to hesitate a fraction too long as he lined up the (not so) killer ball.

RW: Bukayo Saka - 5/10 - Uncharacteristically uninvolved in much of Arsenal's most threatening moments.

ST: Gabriel Jesus - 9/10 - Enjoyed a dream home debut capped by end product but underpinned by his infectious endeavour. But had ample opportunity to add to his pair of goals and assists.

LW: Gabriel Martinelli - 8/10 - Brutally direct, Martinelli showed off his robustness and rapidity.

SUB: Takehiro Tomiyasu (75' for White) - N/A

SUB: Kieran Tierney (77' for Zinchenko) - N/A

SUB: Eddie Nketiah (84' for Jesus) - N/A

SUB: Emile Smith Rowe (84' for Saka) - N/A

Manager: Mikel Arteta - 6/10 - Struggled to counteract the mounting threat Leicester posed after a comprehensive first half.


2. Leicester (3-5-1-1)

Wesley Fofana
Leicester City have kept just one clean sheet in their last 27 Premier League away matches / Alex Pantling/GettyImages

GK: Danny Ward - 3/10 - Far too timid throughout.

CB: Wesley Fofana - 3/10 - Unable to live with the blistering acceleration of Martinelli, Fofana also got in the way his keeper for Arsenal's third.

CB: Jonny Evans - 5/10 - Leicester's new club captain, was tossed around when he got touch-tight to Jesus.

CB: Daniel Amartey - 3/10 - Didn't once glance over his shoulder to check where Arsenal's number nine was for their second goal with a criminal lack of attention.

RWB: Timothy Castagne - 4/10 - Penned back into his own half with the threat of Martinelli to deal with.

CM: Youri Tielemans - 5/10 - Struggled to exert an influence on proceedings.

CM: Wilfred Ndidi - 6/10 - Made a goal-saving challenge to deny Jesus a first-half hat-trick.

CM: Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall - 5/10 - Scurried up and down the pitch but offered little other than another body to block space.

LWB: James Justin - 6/10 - A threat on the sporadic occasions when he had space to break into a gallop.

AM: James Maddison - 6/10 - Grew into the game, increasingly impressing when he had two forwards ahead of him in the second half.

ST: Jamie Vardy - 5/10 - Up against his favourite opponents, Vardy buzzed around the edges of the contest, constantly lurking on the shoulder of the last defender.

SUB: Dennis Praet (63' for Tielemans) - 5/10

SUB: Patson Daka (63' for Amartey) - 5/10

SUB: Kelechi Iheanacho (70' for Vardy) - N/A

Manager: Brendan Rodgers - 6/10 - Undoubtedly impacted proceedings with his switch from three at the back in the second half which proved too late for the Foxes.

Player of the Match - Gabriel Jesus


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