From agony to ecstacy as Arsenal pull victory out of the fire against Leicester

It was messy, it was chaotic, it was shambolic, but, above all, it was absolutely mind-blowingly exhilarating.

I can’t stress enough how playing the way we did against the Foxes is almost certainly going to cost us a lot of points this season, but dear lord did it make for sensational watching.

Never content with a sedate 1-0 or 2-0 win, Arsenal must do things in the most Arsenal way imaginable and it was that tendency towards the farcical that could and probably should have cost us dearly tonight.

Leicester play in a very particular, rigid sort of way. Two seasons on from their Premier League success, nothing has changed and there are no surprises. And yet, despite that, Arsenal did all of things you absolutely shouldn’t be doing against a team like Leicester.

I understand Arsenal’s back three was a little makeshift and thrown together in nature, as it has been all throughout pre-season, but the mistakes I have bemoaned time and again these last three months showed no signs of having dissipated.

In fact, they were more in evidence tonight than they have been since the laughable defeat at Crystal Palace last season which really signalled a seismic shift in the way the Gunners went about their business.

Rob Holding, Granit Xhaka, Hector Bellerin, and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain were caught out time and again over-playing at the back, and it cost us at least two goals. That, after all that we learned last season, is inexcusable and cannot be allowed to go on beyond this game.

I hope – nay, I pray – the return of Laurent Koscielney, Per Mertesacker, Gabriel, and Shkodran Mustafi will put an end to the sort of implosions we have been seeing all too often in the last six weeks.

In the end, mercifully, it proved to be immaterial as the Gunners showed their quality and cohesion in attack to wrest victory from the jaws of defeat.

Going forward, they were absolutely stunning at times tonight and could have had more to show for their efforts, but for some good work from Kasper Schemichael and a touch of profligacy in good positions.

Alexandre Lacazette netted on full league debut, Aaron Ramsey continued to look like the player we know he can be, Olivier Giroud produced the goods yet again, and even Danny Welbeck conspired to put a chance away.

Clearly, we are not going to struggle for goals this season, and that is fantastic. It made for brilliant entertainment. I mean, 4-3 on the opening day? It was a broadcaster’s dream.

But, Arsene, if you are reading this (and I suspect you probably are), get a grip on this defence. Put players in their natural positions, remind the midfield of its responsibility, drill the centre backs until they are utterly sick of being drilled.

Stemming the tide of mistakes and silly goals could be the difference between glory and despair in 2017/18 and this match has to serve as a wake-up call.

Frankly, the way we have been in pre-season, we should already be wide awake but there is still time to learn, before we come up against real quality, the sort of opponent that won’t allow us to recover so easily.

In the meantime, let us all bask in the reflected glow of Premier League glory and a spot at the table of the table. After all, a win is a win.

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