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Lacazette injury not as bad as first feared as Arsenal striker substituted with cramp

23:24 GMT+3 01/09/2019
Alexandre Lacazette Arsenal vs Tottenham 2019-20
The Gunners striker was taken off in Sunday's Premier League clash with Spurs, but his injury is not as severe as his manager thought

Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette was substituted with an apparent injury with 25 minutes remaining in Sunday’s drawn North London derby but his injury is not as serious as originally feared and is now believed to be cramp.

The France international forward had scored a vital goal just before half time to claw his team back into the contest after defensive lapses had seen rivals Tottenham take a two-goal lead through Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane.

One of Lacazette’s partners in Arsenal’s expensive front three, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made it 2-2 shortly after the No. 9’s departure from the field of play.

The other member of the trio, Nicolas Pepe provided the assist for Lacazette’s goal, which was an unstoppable strike after an excellent first touch in a crowded penalty area.

After the game Gunners’ manager Unai Emery said he feared his striker might have a hamstring injury, but it now appears less severe than the Spaniard thought.

“Yes, I think it’s [a hamstring problem]. It’s not severe,” the former Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain manager said soon after the final whistle.

Lacazette has scored 38 Premier League goals in 91 games for the London club, since his arrival from Lyon in the summer of 2017.

Today’s intervention was rated as crucial by players on either side of the fierce rivalry.

Aubameyang, who has had a fruitful partnership with the 28-year-old Frenchman in their season-and-a-half together, said the strike provided a boost in the Gunners’ dressing room at half-time.

“When you go in the dressing room after scoring a goal it is always positive so it was crucial to score then,” the Gabon international said after the match.

Kane, who now has 10 goals in North London derby’s, a record tally, also said the timing of Lacazette’s tally was key to the eventual result.

"When you go 2-0 up you expect to win whoever you are playing. The goal before half-time changed the momentum,” the England captain said.

Lacazette will have the international break to recover from his knock, as he has not been selected by Didier Deschamps in the France squad.

When the Premier League resumes in a fortnight Arsenal will face Watford on September 15.