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Gabriel Jesus bags brace on home debut as Arsenal overcome Leicester

Arsenal’s Gabriel Jesus netted his first two goals as a Gunner in their home opener (Mike Egerton/PA)
Arsenal’s Gabriel Jesus netted his first two goals as a Gunner in their home opener (Mike Egerton/PA)

Gabriel Jesus emphatically announced his arrival at the Emirates Stadium with a brace in Arsenal’s 4-2 victory over Leicester.

The Brazilian’s quality shone throughout the Gunners’ first home fixture of the season, which saw him fire the hosts ahead with a curled effort before heading in his second before the break.

William Saliba’s own goal to start the second half drew the sides closer, but Granit Xhaka immediately restored the Gunners’ advantage.

Gabriel Jesus scores
Gabriel Jesus’ second goal was a headed effort (Mike Egerton/PA)

The visitors, who stayed in it thanks to fine saves from goalkeeper Danny Ward, pulled another back through James Maddison, but Gabriel Martinelli responded instantly to ensure his side’s perfect start to the season.

Arsenal were looking to make it two wins in a row after their 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace in the Premier League curtain-raiser.

Mikel Arteta’s line-up remained unchanged from that win, with Brendan Rodgers also sticking with the same starting XI that drew 2-2 with Brentford last time out.

It was the visitors who had the earliest chance as Wesley Fofana drove into the area from the left and directed a slow, rolling effort at the awaiting Aaron Ramsdale.

Arsenal nearly found an early opener off a 10th-minute free-kick, Martinelli picking out Jesus, whose nodded effort from six yards sailed into the side-netting.

Moments later the Foxes found another chance through James Justin, who could not put the finishing touch on the ball.

Xhaka nearly put the Gunners ahead on 20 minutes, but Leicester got a lucky break as his header bounced off the left post, the rebound finding Oleksandr Zinchenko, who was well off-target with his own attempt.

Jesus finally set the Emirates alight after the hosts worked their way back into the box from midfield and a quick pass from Xhaxa landed at the feet of the summer signing, who wasted no time in opening his Arsenal account with a curled effort into the top right corner.

It was not long before the Gunners doubled their advantage through a set-piece from the left, Leicester failing to clear as Jesus rose to meet the deflection and head home his second of the afternoon.

Granit Xhaka competes for the ball
Granit Xhaka, left, was among the Arsenal goalscorers (Mike Egerton/PA)

Jesus started hunting for a hat-trick and almost succeeded after finding himself in a one-on-one with Leicester keeper Ward, who made a solid stop to prevent any further first-half damage as Wilfred Ndidi put in a sliding tackle to bring down the Brazilian.

Leicester thought they had won a spot-kick after Ramsdale made contact with Jamie Vardy, but the penalty award was chalked off after a VAR check.

The second half got off to an unfortunate start for the hosts as Saliba cost them a clean sheet with an early own goal.

But Arsenal responded instantly and restored their advantage less than two minutes later. Ward was unable to hold on to a long ball from Ben White and it proved costly after Xhaka pounced and fired home from the centre of the six-yard box.

Substitute Kelechi Iheanacho set up Maddison down the right for the resilient Foxes’ second, but just as before the Gunners responded within a minute, Martinelli sending in a strike to score in three consecutive Premier League games for the first time and seal the three points.