Arsene Wenger has praised Arsenal's team spirit and willingness to fight after they came from behind twice to beat Leicester City 4-3 in their Premier League season opener on Friday night (11 August).
The Gunners went ahead after just 94 seconds when club-record signing Alexandre Lacazette headed home from Mohamed Elneny's cross. The Frenchman equaled the record for fastest goal on the opening day of the Premier League, a record he shares with former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell who did the same against Manchester City in 1994.
The north London side's lead lasted just over two minutes as Shinji Okazaki headed home from close range after some poor defensive errors from the Arsenal goalkeeper and defender. The Foxes then went on to take the lead when Jamie Vardy notched his first of the night from a pin point cross from Marc Albrighton, but Wenger's side leveled the game when Danny Welbeck found the net at the stroke of half-time.
Wenger's decision to play a make shift defence comprising of full-backs and wingers was again questioned when Vardy nodded in his second and Leicester's third, and the manager admits that at that point he could not see his team coming away with all three points. The Frenchman brought on Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey to improve the attack, and his decision was rewarded as the duo scored in the final ten minutes to bring home Arsenal's second opening day victory in eight seasons.
The 67-year-old manager praised his side's spirit after their comeback win and admits that there is work to be done in defence after letting Leicester score from two set-pieces. Moreover, the King Power Stadium outfit had just three shots on target the entire game and were clinical on all occasions.
"At some stage it didn't look like that, no. Overall I must say we kept going and the spirit of the team was absolutely outstanding and overall you could say as well we were punished on every single mistake tonight by a Leicester team who was very efficient going forward," Wenger said after the win, as quoted on Arsenal's official site.
"Well if you were a manager and you would be on the bench when you're 3-2 down with 20 minutes to go, and you win 4-3, you're more happy than concerned.
"I feel as well that the goals we conceded, we can work together to get rid of that because one was a corner, one was a ball we lost in the build up and the third goal was on a corner again, so we conceded two goals on corners. We were quite good last year on corners and overall I believe that with a bit of work we can get that out of the system," the French coach added.