Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta insists that Alexandre Lacazette’s goal proved to change the game, with his side struggling to deal with the press of Southampton.
The Gunners earned a 3-0 victory at home to the Saints yesterday afternoon, climbing to within a point of fourth-placed West Ham, but we didn’t have the game all our own way initially.
The Frenchman’s strike set us on the road to victory, but we had been struggling to break down the opposition for the initial 20 minutes of play, and the goal-scorer has come in for praise from the manager.
“I was really happy with him, he has done everything we asked him to do in the game” Arteta said after the match as quoted by Arsenal.com. “First of all he has come in and his defensive actions were top, and then the way he linked in, the way he understood the spaces and the threat that he was in the box. That’s why he scored the goal and he had opportunities to do that. He really affected the team and I am really pleased with him.”
When asked if the striker’s goal had the changed the game, the boss replied: “We needed that. As I said we started a little bit nervy, we could not break the press and we gave some dangerous balls away in key zones where normally against them you get punished. We got away with that situation. And then the team showed a different level, the confidence started to grow, we started to play better and better and we managed to dominate the game.”
Lacazette starting over Auba for a second consecutive match was a large talking point before kick-off, but there can be little complaint about Laca’s performance, and his form could well prove important as we head into a hectic fixture schedule.
If anything, these recent weeks have just highlighted how unlikely it would be that we would allow the striker to leave in the coming window, and once again raises the possibility of us trying to extend his playing deal.
While I’m aware that a new first-choice striker is needed, Laca is a more-than worthy back-up option, and with his ability to play as the second-striker also, he doesn’t necessarily have to leave to make room for a new arrival.
Is Laca’s hard work understated? Without his goal, could we have struggled to get over the line yesterday?
FULL POST-SOUTHAMPTON PRESS CONFERENCE