Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Giroud header seals Arsenal win in season-opening thriller

Giroud header seals Arsenal win in season-opening thriller

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has told Arsene Wenger he'd like to be starting more games after netting a late victor in tonight's 4-3 thriller against Leicester City. In the end he made a decision to stay and it was one of the great days of the recent weeks for me.

Wenger further reiterated the point in his written press conference, describing Giroud's decision to remain with Arsenal as a "relief" and "one of the greatest days I've had in recent months".

Despite only starting 17 games last season in all competitions, Giroud still scored 16 times - including an eye-catching scorpion-style kick against Crystal Palace.

The France international's future had been in doubt following the club-record arrival of Alexandre Lacazette, with clubs both in England and back in his home country reportedly interested.

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"It is fantastic", Wenger replied when asked about Giroud's willingness to fight for his place.

'I prefer to be on the pitch, ' the 30-year-old admitted in his post-match interview with Sky Sports.

"Lacazette is simple. In every game he is stronger since he has joined us", Wenger said.

"We saw it though for 83 minutes", Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare said, "and to concede two late set-plays in the manner we did is obviously hard to take".

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To cap off a busy first half of the season, Welbeck tied things up after 45 minutes, scoring from close range.

Wenger has always been desperate to keep Giroud because he offers something so different with his aerial presence but was also willing to let him leave if he felt that he needed a guarantee that he would start more regularly in this World Cup season.

"We kept going and the spirit of the team was absolutely outstanding", Wenger said.

"We were quite good previous year on corners and I believe with a bit of work, we can get that out of the system".

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Craig Shakespeare's side boasted numerous players, and characteristics, that saw them shock the world to win the title in 2015/16.

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