Arsenal 4 Leicester 2: Gabriel Jesus puts on masterclass on home debut with two goals and two assists in blockbuster | The Sun

Arsenal 4 Leicester 2: Gabriel Jesus puts on masterclass on home debut with two goals and two assists in blockbuster | The Sun

August 13, 2022

GABRIEL JESUS has got Arsenal believing in miracles after single-handedly demolishing hot and bothered Leicester.

The Brazilian international striker has not put a foot wrong since his £45million summer move from Manchester City.

And after scoring seven times in pre-season, the new darling of the Emirates is now up and running in the matches that really matter.

In fact his two first half-goals means he has already scored as many in the Premier League in open play as his predecessor in the number nine shirt managed for the whole of last season.

Not only that, he also claimed the assists for Arsenal’s other two goals from Granit Xhaka and Gabriel Martinelli on a blistering afternoon to remember.

No wonder manager Mikel Arteta was happy to let Alex Lacazette leave for nothing to free up room for Jesus at the heart of his attack.


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Because with a finisher as deadly as Jesus in their ranks, it is hardly surprising that supporters are convinced their team is finally ready to crack the top four again.

Of course these are still very early days and even if the fans are getting carried away, there is no chance of Arteta buying into the hype.

The Spaniard’s constant mantra is all about playing with passion and energy and Jesus certainly isn’t going to be found wanting on those fronts.

He was at the Leicester defence like a rat up a drainpipe, never giving poor Jonny Evans a moment’s peace right from the kick-off.

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He thought he had opened his League account for his new club when he beat his marker to Gabriel Martinelli’s tenth-minute free-kick.

But his flicked header flew just the wrong side of the near post despite his appeals for a corner.

Yet it was to prove only a temporary reprieve for the flustered visitors, who were fortunate to survive when Xhaka arrived like an express train to head Bukayo Saka’s 20th-minute centre against a post.

And the goal which Arsenal’s domination was crying out for duly arrived midway through the first-half with the kind of finish not seen from an Arsenal striker since Thierry Henry was in his pomp.

Martinelli and Xhaka were both instrumental in the build-up, but it was all about Jesus’ execution as he stretched to control the ball with his first touch then sent an exquisite chip over keeper Danny Ward with his second.

Even the travelling Leicester fans couldn’t hide their admiration for a player who has been a constant thorn in their side over the years.


And from the concerned look on Brendan Rodgers’ face, they knew it was going to be a very long, hot afternoon for their team.

For Jesus was winning absolutely everything in and around the penalty area and even a whack on the back of the head from Evans wasn’t going to stop him.

He certainly didn’t need any help from the Foxes, but that is exactly what he got when Jamie Vardy inadvertently flicked Martinelli’s 36th-minute corner across the face of goal to leave Jesus with a simple back-post header.

And Vardy’s day soon got a whole lot worse when he went down in a heap after beating Aaron Ramsdale in a race to Timothy Castagne’s through ball just before half-time.

Referee Darren England immediately pointed to the penalty spot but changed his mind once VAR Mike Dean pointed out that there had been minimal contact with the Arsenal keeper.

Vardy might have scored more Premier League goals against Arsenal than any other team during his career, but all he got for his troubles this time was an unsavoury song about his missus.

But even Vardy’s afternoon was not as bad as Youri Tielemans’, who has been linked with a move to Arsenal all summer without any kind of bid ever materialising.

The Belgian playmaker hardly had a kick all afternoon before being hooked by Rodgers in the 63rd minute to chants of “You could have played for the Arsenal.” 

Chelsea might also want to think twice about upping their offer for Wesley Fofana on the evidence of this display.

For even when Leicester were gifted a 53rd-minute lifeline by William Saliba heading into his own goal under pressure from Vardy, they immediately handed the initiative back to Arsenal when Ward dropped the ball at Jesus’ feet to tee up Xhaka.

It was exactly the same story when James Maddison beat Ramsdale through the keeper's legs from a tight angle with quarter of an hour to go to give the visitors a brief glimmer of hope.

Because seconds later Arsenal were two goals to the good again when Jesus passed for the lurking Martinelli to beat Ward with a precise low shot from the edge of the area.

Jesus could even have had a second-half penalty when his leg was kicked away by Daniel Amartey.

But ref England probably felt sorry for Leicester by then and waved Arsenal’s appeals aside.

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Another hat-trick chance came and went when Gabby-goal shot just the wrong side of the back post before leaving to a standing ovation in the 82nd minute.

But the damage had already been done and if Leicester needed proof of how much a team can be lifted by a big summer they didn’t have to look very far.

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