Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

The winners and losers of Arsenal's pre-season campaign

The winners and losers of Arsenal's pre-season campaign

Giroud's clever header in the 85th minute secured the points after Lacazette had taken just 94 seconds to make his mark with a header from Mohamed Elneny's curling cross, equalling the record for the fastest opening goal in a Premier League season.

The Ramsey-Giroud rescue act spared Arsenal from a fourth season-opening defeat in five campaigns and enabled Wenger to start the season with victory for only the second time in eight years.

Arsene Wenger has revealed that he gave Olivier Giroud the chance to leave Arsenal "at one stage", but the forward chose to stay put at the Emirates Stadium.

"I love the man and the player because he's a fantastic guy. committed (and) he loves the club", Wenger said.

"He had a scan two days ago and he's out for a while - we don't know if it is two weeks or one more week, but he will not be available".

"We started really well and I thought we could stay in control".

The leader of "Arsenal" Alexis Sanchez could become the highest paid player in the English Premier League.

"Some you know about and that's very hard for a group of players to cope with that - and some other reasons we will talk about on another day".

Wenger quote
Soccer-Arsenal's Sanchez out of opener due to abdominal strain

An admiring Wenger said Giroud was "in his prime" and "at the top of his game". "Yeah, we have top quality". For example Ramsey, Ozil, Mertesacker... and of course Koscielny is suspended.

"They still haven't spent on multiple players and strengthened across the board so I see Arsenal challenging for the top four but they've got this hard situation where it's going to be a challenge for the top four because teams will improve".

"The Premier League is the most competitive league in the world and Arsenal are one of the best clubs in it, year after year they've shown their consistency", he said.

The left-back, who signed from Schalke on a free transfer, has already made an impact, scoring Arsenal's equaliser as they went on to beat Chelsea on penalties in the Community Shield last Sunday. "I feel that with a bit of work we can get that out of our system".

Life as an Arsenal fan summed up in four minutes.

"For a first game, it was a top-quality game".

Arsene Wenger had labelled them a doubt during his pre-match press conference, but will be delighted to welcome the trio back which will provide him more options going into the game against the Foxes.

"I'm convinced in 10 or 15 years it will not necessarily be a football specialist who is a manager of a club". "We kept the faith and kept believing in our game to push hard".

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