Maybe that preseason was no fluke after all. Arsenal continued their perfect start to the new season with a second straight win, 4-2 over Leicester City at a raucous Emirates Stadium which celebrated two goals and two assists by new forward hero Gabriel Jesus.
Leicester started strong and did not allow Arsenal to build any momentum, but then Jesus got his team off the mark with a spectacular finish. He followed that up with a header off a corner kick to send his team into the break up 2-0.
Leicester City scored twice in the second half to seemingly make a game of it — a William Saliba own goal and a James Maddison shot that went under Arsenal’s ‘keeper — but the Gunners responded immediately each time as Granit Xhaka and Gabriel Martinelli found the back of the net, both assisted by Jesus.
Leicester had a penalty kick just before halftime that was subsequently scratched after video review as the referees judged that Jamie Vardy sought out the contact with Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
It was a comprehensive performance by Arsenal, who pulled Leicester apart with their trademark interchanging runs and quick combinations. Jesus, who had several looks to net a potential hat trick, led the attacking moves alongside an electric Gabriel Martinelli.
MORE: Who are the Premier League top scorers so far in 2022/23?
ARS — Gabriel Jesus (Granit Xhaka) — 23rd min.
ARS — Gabriel Jesus — 36th min.
LEI — William Saliba (own goal) — 53rd min.
ARS — Granit Xhaka (Gabriel Jesus) — 55th min.
LEI — James Maddison (Kelechi Iheanacho) — 74th min.
ARS — Gabriel Martinelli (Gabriel Jesus) — 75th min.
90th min.: Thomas Partey nicks the post on an Arsenal set-piece play and minutes later Eddie Nketiah tests the ‘keeper as Arsenal don’t let up. Five minutes of stoppage time.
84th min.: Arsenal subs. Gabriel Jesus and Bukayo Saka come off for Eddie Nketiah and Emile Smith Rowe. More raucous applause for Arsenal supporters’ new goalscoring hero.
80th min.: Gabriel Jesus misses the easiest chance of the game after a ball squirts through at the far post where he was lurking. But he hits the side netting. Prior to the chance, Kieran Tierney comes on to loud applause for Olkesandr Zinchenko at left-back.
75th min.: Arsenal answer back! Gabriel Martinelli receives the ball at the top of the box from Gabriel Jesus and he fires a diagonal ball inside the right post. The Arsenal cushion is back to two goals.
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It’s the Gabriel show in London!
Gabriel Jesus assists his fellow Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli who gives Arsenal a 4-2 lead. #AFC
📺: @peacockTV #MyPLMorning | #ARSLEI pic.twitter.com/dPxQ3vmhz2
74th min.: Leicester goal! It’s 3-2 with 15 minutes left. From a tight angle James Maddison fires on goal and the ball goes under Aaron Ramsdale. And Arsenal bring on Takehiro Tomiyasu for Ben White in the hope that he can close it out.
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Game on in London!
James Maddison’s powerful shot beats Aaron Ramsdale at his near post and Arsenal now lead 3-2. #LCFC
📺: @peacockTV #MyPLMorning | #ARSLEI pic.twitter.com/cvIgpaKlRe
70th min.: Sub for Leicester. Kelechi Iheanacho comes in for Jamie Vardy and he immediately gets a chance in the box, but Ben White clears a ball that was headed toward the goal line.
68th min.: What a great play by Gabriel Jesus! He weaves his way into the box and sends a ball across the six-yard box, but no teammates are there to meet it. Gabriel Jesus is not letting up.
63rd min.: Subs for Leicester. Daniel Amartey and Youri Tielemans come off for Dennis Praet and Patson Daka. Manager Brendan Rodgers removing a defender for an attacker.
Journalists inside the stadium say that Arsenal supporters near the benches gave a standing ovation to Youri Tielemans, who has been linked with a move to the Gunners.
57th min.: Penalty appeal for Arsenal! It looked like the Leicester defender raised a high leg in an attempt to take the ball off Gabriel Jesus’s foot, and the Arsenal forward goes down. But referee Darren England does not agree and VAR does not intervene. It looked like there was contact.
55th min.: Goal Arsenal! Just a minute after conceding, Leicester ‘keeper Dan Ward drops a routine cross after colliding with a teammate and he drops it. Jesus is there to poke it to Granit Xhaka for the easy finish. It’s 3-1 Arsenal.
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Gabriel Jesus collects the spill by the Leicester City keeper and gets it to Xhaka who restores Arsenal’s two goal lead. #AFC
Arsenal lead 3-1.
📺: @peacockTV #MyPLMorning | #ARSLEI pic.twitter.com/Uck3Bd2pox
53rd min.: Leicester are on the board! Own goal by Arsenal defender William Saliba who headed away a ball destined for Jamie Vardy, but he beat his own ‘keeper in the process. The crowd applauds him in encouragement. It’s 2-1 Arsenal.
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An unfortunate own goal for William Saliba.
Arsenal lead Leicester City 2-1.
📺: @peacockTV #MyPLMorning | #ARSLEI pic.twitter.com/cYQTKPqojj
46th min.: Second half is underway. No subs for either team.
Halftime: A well-organized Leicester made things difficult for Arsenal to start and it looked like the visitors might even nick a goal in transition. But then the Gunners’ big summer signing Gabriel Jesus made the big play to get them on the board and that strike opened things up for Arsenal. Jesus got a second on a corner and then had two more decent looks at a hat trick. He’ll want that third goal in the second half.
Gabriel Jesus’ first half by numbers vs Leicester:
100% dribbles completed
3 shots on target
1 key pass
Better call Gabby… 📞 📞 📞 pic.twitter.com/vjZGJPkeOo
44th min.: Penalty overturned on video review! The referee looked at it and saw that Jamie Vardy was looking for the contact. It’s waved off.
42nd min.: Penalty for Leicester City! Aaron Ramsdale is off his line to challenge Jamie Vardy and a penalty is awarded. But the VAR is recommending a check.
41st min.: Jesus denied a hat trick again! Arsenal win the ball and then a quick combination puts Jesus through, but Dan Ward makes the stop.
36th min.: Jesus nearly gets the hat trick! He pounces on a long ball from the ‘keeper, turns Jonny Evans, and only an Ndidi tackle prevents him from getting a clean shot off. Arsenal fans are loving life.
36th min.: Gabriel Jesus gets another goal! An Arsenal corner kick is flicked on by a Leicester player and there’s Jesus at the far post unmarked to head it home.
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Gabriel Jesus is there at the back post and he has a brace in the first half!
Arsenal lead Leicester City 2-0. #AFC
📺: @peacockTV #MyPLMorning | #ARSLEI pic.twitter.com/FD50gV62Mm
33rd min.: Arsenal are comfortable now. Leicester trying to push the game and Arsenal are waiting to press and pounce. Gabriel Martinelli is seeing more of the ball on the left and he’s playing with plenty of energy.
23rd min.: What a goal by Gabriel Jesus! He gets the ball in traffic inside the Leicester box and lofts a beautiful chip which nestles into the far corner. Fantastic finish. Replays showed it took a slight deflection off a defender.
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What a finish!
Arsenal’s new star chips Danny Ward for his first Premier League goal at the Emirates!
Stream #PLGoalRush LIVE, or on demand after, here 📺 https://t.co/WuyEGO1Mks#OptusSport pic.twitter.com/AxcP4i83pV
20th min.: Another Granit Xhaka run into the Leicester box and he meets a Bukayo Saka cross at the far post and it looks like his header comes off the post and off ‘keeper Danny Ward. Xhaka looks up for it today.
16th min.: Yellow card to Wesley Fofana. Gabriel Martinelli burned by him on the left wing and Fofana held him back any way he could. On the ensuing set piece, a ball is sent into the box for a Gabriel header which is off the mark.
12th min.: Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale has to make another play in his box to tip away a Leicester cross from the right, which was destined for James Justin. The Foxes are creating attacking threats, especially when Arsenal cough up the ball.
10th min.: Nice Arsenal combination around the Leicester box. The Gunners are poking and prodding and trying to pull the organized Foxes out of position. It’s a patient, calculated Arsenal team to start.
4th min.: Leicester have the best chance of the match so far! It’s Wesley Fofana dispossesses Granit Xhaka and makes a run into the Arsenal box, firing a shot stopped by Aaron Ramsdale. Strong start by the Foxes.
My CB Wesley Fofana.
1st min.: We’re off. Expecting an electric start from Arsenal at home.
5 mins from kickoff: Teams are walking out to the field as Emirates chanting “Arsenal”.
Arsenal and Leicester City head out. 💪 #ARSLEI pic.twitter.com/CjI9nu6eOx
20 mins from kickoff: All eyes will be on this man at the Emirates:
Gabriel Jesus warming up for Arsenal. 🇧🇷
60 mins from kickoff: Lineups are out. Both teams are unchanged.
🚨 TEAM NEWS!
We’re unchanged from our 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park 🔥#ARSLEI
Our XI to take on the Gunners 🔵 📝#ARSLEI pic.twitter.com/TNpzp9hNhX
120 mins from kickoff: Here’s a positive omen for Arsenal supporters heading into the home opener:
Gabriel Jesus’ Premier League record against Leicester… 👀
Only against Everton (8) and Watford (6) has he scored more goals in the #PL.#Arsenal #AFC #ARSLEI pic.twitter.com/d9eA58fMD5
The Gunners’ squad is getting healthier with the returns of Takehiro Tomiyasu and Emile Smith Rowe on the bench. Summer signing Fabio Vieira is back in training, but not on the matchday squad list.
Reiss Nelson is the only player confirmed to miss out due to injury. Players who are likely to be on their way to new clubs — right back Hector Bellerin and goalkeeper Alex Runarsson — are out of the squad entirely.
Arsenal starting lineup (4-2-3-1, right to left): 1-Aaron Ramsdale (GK) — 4-Ben White, 12-William Saliba, 6-Gabriel, 35-Oleksandr Zinchenko — 5-Thomas Partey, 34-Granit Xhaka — 7-Bukayo Saka, 8-Martin Odegaard, 11-Gabriel Martinelli — 9-Gabriel Jesus
Arsenal subs (9): 30-Matt Turner, 18-Takehiro Tomiyasu, 16-Rob Holding, 3-Kieran Tierney, 25-Mohamed Elneny, 23-Albert Sambi Lokonga, 10-Emile Smith Rowe, 19-Nicolas Pepe, 14-Eddie Nketiah.
Ricardo Pereira (Achilles), Harvey Barnes (knee), and Ryan Bertrand (knee) are still unavailable for the Foxes, but manager Brendan Rodgers has a deep bench at his disposal. He will field Youri Tielemans after all, making for a bit of an awkward situation given the multiple transfer reports.
Leicester City starting lineup (5-3-2, right to left): 1-Danny Ward (GK) — 27-Timothy Castagne, 3-Wesley Fofana, 6-Jonny Evans, 18-Daniel Amartey, 2-James Justin — 8-Youri Tielemans, 25-Wilfred Ndidi, 22-Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall — 10-James Maddison, 9-Jamie Vardy
Leicester City subs (9): 31-Daniel Iversen (GK), 4-Caglar Soyuncu, 33-Luke Thomas, 24-Nampalys Mendy, 11-Marc Albrighton, 26-Dennis Praet, 17-Ayoze Perez, 14-Kelechi Iheanacho, 20-Patson Daka.
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UK: The match falls in the 3 p.m. local time window in which matches are not televised. Coverage is only available via radio.
USA: The Arsenal vs. Leicester match will be streamed on NBC’s Peacock platform for subscribers.
Canada: Every Premier League game streams live and on demand exclusively via fuboTV.
Australia: Fans in Australia can stream all Premier League matches live and on demand on Optus Sport.