Monday 19th February, 2018
19 ℃ | 28 ℃Dubai

Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare was pleased to play a part in Friday's opening loss to Arsenal -- even if the Foxes headed back to the East Midlands with nothing to show for their evening's endeavour.

Olivier Giroud came off the bench to head home in the 85th minute as the Gunners kicked off the Premier League season with a thrilling 4-3 win.

Giroud's compatriot Alexandre Lacazette marked his league debut with a goal in just 94 seconds, only for Shinji Okazaki to level for the Foxes less than three minutes later.

Jamie Vardy then struck twice, either side of a Danny Welbeck equaliser, as the 2015-16 champions looked for a first league win over Arsenal since 1983 -- but it was not to be.

Arsene Wenger shuffled his pack and Aaron Ramsey levelled with eight minutes remaining before fellow substitute Giroud wrapped up the points.

"You come away from home, score three goals and are nearly there and then concede two...bitterly disappointed,'' Shakespeare said after the match.

"I'm always looking for the positives, we came to the Emirates and the players executed the gameplan. We were a threat and played football and contributed to a thoroughly entertaining game.''

Shakespeare was true to his word and started Riyad Mahrez despite the Algeria international asking to leave the King Power Stadium.

Mahrez, who has been linked with a move to Arsenal in the past 12 months, had been a target for Roma.

The Serie A side have now said they will not increase their offer and Shakespeare is happy to have Mahrez in the team.

When asked if he expected Mahrez to stay, he said: "Who knows?

"I think we have all seen the funny business of the transfer window and we never know what is round the corner. Riyad has been very focused.

"He came out and made a statement which we are all aware of but while he trains and plays and is professional the way he is, he will be considered for selection.''

Vardy lamented the loss afterward, saying: "This has happened to us the last three seasons here. We put ourselves in a commanding position and a few lapses in concentration have cost us.

"We had quite a few chances. Unfortunately they didn't go in but we can take a lot of positives.

"Scoring three goals away from home is a positive and we'll get back on the training field to make sure we sort the problems out."

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