Arsenal's winners, losers and ratings as two-goal Jesus answers call for a new hero

Gabriel Jesus Arsenal Leicester 2022-23Getty

Midway through the first half of Saturday's thrilling 4-2 win over Leicester at a bouncing Emirates Stadium, Edu was seen sporting the biggest of smiles as he looked down at his phone, having no doubt been inundated with messages of congratulations after Gabriel Jesus' first goal for Arsenal.

It was to get even better for the technical director and his big summer signing, who added his second shortly before the break before then racking up assists for Granit Xhaka and Gabriel Martinelli as Mikel Arteta's men maintained their winning start to the new Premier League campaign.

Arsenal clearly remain a work in progress but the depression that followed last season's late collapse has now given way to boundless optimism, and Jesus is the main reason why...

  • Gabriel Jesus Arsenal Leicester 2022-23Getty

    The Winners

    Gabriel Jesus:

    Home debuts don't get much better than this. There was always the feeling that Jesus was perfect for Arsenal, and vice versa, and his pre-season performances were hugely encouraging. However, after drawing a blank in last weekend's win at Crystal Palace, the striker was under a little pressure to perform. Luckily, he did just that, proving almost unplayable at times. His first goal was sublime, Jesus curling the ball into the top corner with almost no back-lift; his second, a pure poacher's finish, illustrating exactly what Arsenal lacked last season. These are very early days, of course, but Jesus and Arteta's Arsenal really do look like a match made in heaven.

    Gabriel Martinelli:

    Jesus was the obvious choice for man of the match but Martinelli ran his compatriot close. Indeed, he absolutely tormented Wesley Fofana during the first half with his pace and trickery down the left flank. His goal was just reward for a scintillating display and, given he also netted at Selhurst Park, the feeling is growing that Martinelli is set for a massive season if he can stay injury-free.

    VAR:

    Leicester were very nearly gifted a route back into the game just before half-time when Darren England pointed to the spot for an apparent foul on Jamie Vardy by Aaron Ramsdale. However, VAR intervened, offering the referee the opportunity to review the incident. And rightly so. Ramsdale had made minimal contact with Vardy - if any at all. The striker complained, but meekly, knowing full well that he had been guilty of a pathetic dive. He fully deserved the boos he received after the 'foul' was replayed on the big screen moments after England had rightly over-ruled his original decision. This was a fine example of how VAR is meant to work.

  • William Saliba Arsenal Leicester 2022-23Getty

    The Losers

    William Saliba:

    What a start to the season for William Saliba! The Frenchman turned in an immaculate performance against Palace, deservedly picking up the man of the match award on his first appearance for Arsenal. His second, though, saw him score an own goal which halved his side's advantage early in the second half. It was a poor, unnecessary error, with Saliba heading a long punt forward past Ramsdale. But the centre-half's overall performance was decent, particularly in terms of regaining possession, and he will undoubtedly benefit from having learned very early on in his Arsenal career that the highs and lows come thick and fast in the Premier League.

    Brendan Rodgers:

    There was a time when the Northern Irishman was being linked with the Arsenal job but it seems an awful long time ago now. Rodgers has done excellent work at Leicester but after an uninspiring summer window, there is an undeniable feeling that the wheels are starting to come off. The Foxes may have scored twice at the Emirates but, after a bright start, they faded badly and only the threat of Vardy and James Maddison kept them in the game. Right now, Leicester and Arsenal look like two sides moving in very different directions. And the same goes for their respective managers.

  • William Saliba Martin Odegaard Arsenal 2022-23Getty

    Arsenal Ratings: Defence

    Ramsdale (6/10):

    Made a big save early on from Fofana to keep the game scoreless but even though the penalty given against him was overruled, the goalkeeper needs to ask why he had come rushing out of his goal in the first place. He won't be happy with having conceded two goals given Leicester's XG was 0.4.

    White (7/10):

    He may not have offered anything like the same threat down the right flank as Zinchenko on the left but that's hardly surprising for a man that has spent the majority of his Arsenal career at centre-back. An unspectacular but solid showing.

    Saliba (6/10):

    Anything but flawless this week, with his own goal the result of a lack of awareness. He also gave away a couple of unnecessary fouls in dangerous positions but he still won the ball back 10 times - more than anyone else on the pitch.

    Gabriel (7/10):

    A decent display from the Brazilian, who was also always a threat at set-pieces.

    Zinchenko (8/10):

    A constant threat down the left wing, where he repeatedly combined well with Martinelli. His pressing also sparked a couple of menacing counterattacks, while he also repeatedly stepped into midfield to excellent effect.

  • Granit Xhaka Arsenal Leicester 2022-23Getty

    Midfield

    Partey (5/10):

    Put himself about and competed well in the air but his passing was desperately poor.

    Xhaka (8/10):

    A dynamic display from the Swiss, who looked to get forward at every opportunity and was rewarded for his adventure with a goal.

    Odegaard (6/10):

    Elegant as ever on the ball and contributed to some exciting attacks but perhaps not as involved as he would have liked, overall.

  • Gabriel Martinelli Arsenal 2022-23Getty

    Attack

    Saka (6/10):

    Not his most thrilling game in an Arsenal shirt but still provided some excellent deliveries from wide on the right and linked well with Jesus at times.

    Jesus (9/10):

    A constant threat, Jesus was unsurprisingly involved in all four Arsenal goals. The Emirates has a new hero.

    Martinelli (8/10):

    Ran riot down the left flank, repeatedly bamboozling Fofana with his wonderful array of skills. Two goals in two games now for the 21-year-old.

  • Mikel Arteta Arsenal 2022-23Getty

    Subs & Manager

    Tomiyasu (6/10):

    Did nothing wrong during his 15 minutes on the field.

    Tierney (6/10):

    Only brought on for Zinchenko in the 77th minute but was just great to see him back.

    Smith Rowe (N/A):

    Only saw six minutes of game time.

    Nketiah (N/A):

    Brought on at the same time as Smith Rowe.

    Mikel Arteta (8/10):

    This was not an easy game for Arsenal but they dominated the majority of the 90 minutes, and played with the kind of vibrancy and efficacy that Arteta wants to see them produce on a regular basis. This was another hugely encouraging performance for the manager.