Lacazette back in the old routine for increasingly impenetrable Arsenal

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Alexandre Lacazette Arsenal 2019-20
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The France forward has now scored in successive games following a nine-game goal drought as he bagged the winner in Athens

Cometh the hour, cometh the man.

It had all been going so wrong for Alexandre Lacazette until Bukayo Saka picked him out with a perfect cross in from the left with just eight minutes remaining of Arsenal’s Europa League last-32 first leg against Olympiacos.

But as he prodded the ball home from close range to earn the Gunners a vital 1-0 win in Athens, the striker showed why you cannot write him off.

After missing a golden chance in the first half and struggling all evening with his hold up play, Lacazette could easily have gone into his shell. But he kept working, kept showing for the ball and he got his reward.

It is two goals in two games for the 28-year-old now after going nine games without finding the net, and his match-winning strike was just reward for Mikel Arteta, who kept faith in his forward when he could easily have hauled him off during the second half.

This was a huge win for Arsenal at a ground which has been practically impenetrable this season.

Arteta had called on his players  to stand up and be counted ahead of the game, demanding that they did not hide inside the intimidating atmosphere of the Karaiskakis Stadium.

And they did just that, becoming only the second side after Bayern Munich to beat Olympiacos on their own turf this season.

David Luiz Arsenal 2019-20

It was another impressive step forward for the Gunners under Arteta, who remain the only unbeaten Premier League side in 2020.

They have now gone nine games without defeat in all competitions and have kept five clean sheets in the process, including three on the bounce.

Arteta’s priority when he arrived was to make the team far harder to beat and he has certainly done that. The visitors limited Olympiacos to just two shots on target all night, with Shkodran Mustafi and David Luiz excellent in front of Bernd Leno.

The German keeper made one smart stop early on to push a Mathieu Valbuena volley wide, but other than that he was relatively untroubled as Gunners took a major step towards the last 16 for a third successive season.

Alexandre Lacazette Arsenal 2019-20

Going forward, Arsenal remain a work in process, but there is still enough quality in the side to create something out of nothing, and that is what proved decisive in the Greek capital.

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It may have been Lacazette who got the goal, but once again it was the prodigiously talented Saka who created it.

The makeshift left-back bombed down the flank to get on the end of a pass from Aubameyang and produced the perfect centre for Lacazette to finish off.

It was a rare moment of attacking quality, but one that has given Arsenal a valuable lead to protect when Olympiacos visit north London next week.

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