Saturday 24 March 2018

An electric start to the Premier League season, as told through the ‘Wenger Out’ Twitter trend

It took just half an hour for #WengerOut to trend on Twitter – but it became quite a roller-coaster from there…

Arsenal won but not before Leicester gave them a fright (Nick Potts/PA and Joe Giddens/EMPICS Sport)
Arsenal won but not before Leicester gave them a fright (Nick Potts/PA and Joe Giddens/EMPICS Sport)

By Edd Dracott

The Premier League’s opening game saw Leicester travel to Arsenal, and for Gunners fans things started with a stirring optimism.

Despite pressure on him at the end of last season, Arsene Wenger signed a new two-year contract and signs like this could be seen in the crowd as the match began.

(Nick Potts/PA)

Things only got better, too, as it took the Gunners’ £55 million record signing Alexandre Lacazette, 26, just a minute-and-a-half to score on his Premier League debut.

A thumping header from Mohamed Elneny’s cross gave them the lead over the Foxes.

(Nick Potts/PA)

However, the Premier League is ever full of surprises and a goal from Shinji Okazaki just three minutes later, followed by a Jamie Vardy goal 15 minutes before half-time, soon turned the game on its head.

And almost immediately, with the help of a certain high-profile journalist Gooner, that old saying came back to haunt the 67-year-old Frenchman.

#WengerOut has become somewhat part and parcel of the Premier League – so much so that some thought it now deserves recognition.

Wenger did appear to have some respite though, with Danny Welbeck levelling for the Gunners just before half-time.

Another new signing, left back Sead Kolasinac, provided the pass for the Englishman’s goal – a cool side-footed finish.

(Nick Potts/PA)

Alas, not long into the second period, the Arsenal defence was broken once again as 30-year-old Vardy headed in confidently from Riyad Mahrez’s corner.

(Alastair Grant/AP)

For Leicester, the roller-coaster game was giving glimpses of the style they showed to win the league 15 months ago – but for Wenger things just got that bit worse.

But guess what? It still wasn’t over.

Goals from Welshman Aaron Ramsey and veteran striker Olivier Giroud, both off the bench on Wenger’s orders, yanked the Gunners back to 4-3 – with Arsenal claiming the points.

(Alastair Grant/AP)

It’s enough to make you breathless just reading about it, isn’t it?

For Wenger though, he’ll be breathing a sigh of relief.

Oh and in case you’re wondering what that Gunners fan who seemed to help kick off the #WengerOut trend earlier was thinking?

Here he is…

Nice one Piers.

The fiercely entertaining game undoubtedly revealed both weaknesses and strengths in Arsenal’s side – but it’s early days and the result certainly won’t win them the league in the same way it won’t lose it for Leicester.

One thing is clear though, the Premier League is back. And it’s back with a bang.

Saturday’s action kicks off with Liverpool’s trip to Watford, while Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton are all in action across seven fixtures.

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