Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has offered his gratitude towards Arsenal team-mate Alexandre Lacazette after his strike partner psyched him up for a decisive penalty against Manchester United.
The Gunners ran out 2-0 victors against top-four rivals Man Utd in a tense encounter in the capital, courtesy of a Granit Xhaka strike and Aubameyang’s spot-kick.
Why did Lacazette psyche Aubameyang up? Five key things to know…
- Aubameyang missed a last-minute penalty in the north London derby last weekend.
- As a result Arsenal drew the match 1-1, leading to criticism of the Gabon international’s mentality.
- Aubameyang made amends by scoring from the spot in Sunday’s 2-0 victory over Man Utd.
- Lacazette won the decisive penalty after colliding with Fred but the Frenchman relinquished responsibility to his strike partner.
- Aubameyang has now expressed his appreciation towards Lacazette after receiving a pep talk from his colleague just before stepping up.
Victory for Unai Emery’s men saw Arsenal become the first side to beat – and keep a clean sheet against – Man Utd under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the Premier League.
But it could have been a different outcome were it not for the motivational exploits of Lacazette, who won the decisive penalty just when United were starting to pile on the pressure.
The French marksman surged into the box and went to ground under a challenge from Fred, before immediately turning to Aubameyang and offering his colleague a few choice words of encouragement.
Aubameyang told Sky Sports Premier League: “I was confident, my team-mates give me a lot of confidence. Laca gave me the penalty and that was cool from him, I was really focused.
“I made a mistake against Tottenham, looking down at the last moment, not watching [Hugo] Lloris, but today I watched until the end and being focused you score a penalty.
“I know where the ball is and you have to practice this all the time, and today it went in! I knew that it would be tough, but I was feeling confident.”
Three points for Arsenal has moved them above Utd and into the top four, where they now sit two points above Solskjaer’s side and three points above Chelsea.
Next up for Arsenal is the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie against Rennes on Thursday, with the club trailing 3-1 on aggregate.
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Fans react to Lacazette’s unselfish nature
Aubameyang may have netted from the spot but many Arsenal fans reserved special praise for Lacazette, who showed his more philanthropic side by gifting his team-mate the penalty.
And it wasn’t just his generosity that led to adulation from the Gunners faithful, but also his rallying cry to Aubameyang in the lead up to the decisive moment.
Tears in my eyes. Aubameyang did this for Lacazette when he was out of form once. https://t.co/PVEDnZHSWS
— GG3 (@AFCBeef) March 10, 2019
Lacazette immediately told Auba that he should take the penalty today.
He then went over and gave Auba some words of encouragement.
Just like when Aubameyang let Lacazette take the pen in Feb vs Stoke when Laca was having a rough patch.
It’s a genuinely beautiful friendship pic.twitter.com/rOCYG2wWLc
— The Arsenal (@DareToWenger) March 10, 2019
Lacazette passed up the chance to be the first Arsenal player to score 6 consecutive goals at home, just to help Aubameyang regain his confidence, same thing Auba did last season. Great mentality pic.twitter.com/ofXeZMSZIo
— P🎒 (@P1AFC) March 10, 2019
Lacazette shouting for Aubameyang to take that penalty.
MY KING! 👑
— King Laca (@Lacazest) March 10, 2019
The moment Lacazette got the penalty, he looked at Aubameyang and wanted him to take it straight away without a second thought.
This club is so wholesome. Makes me so proud.
— WH (@Wilshoholic) March 10, 2019
Beautiful football moment ❤️
Lovely gesture from Lacazette. It surely wasn’t easy for Aubameyang to step forward again after last week, but the belief & encouragement from everyone around him was all he needed 👏🏼 #ARSMUN pic.twitter.com/OEFYgjHrIE
— 𝒩𝒶𝓉 🧜♀️⚔️👑🐺🌹 (@NatG_22) March 10, 2019
— IamBalaa (@IamBalaaG) March 10, 2019
— Dave Stoker (@realdavestoker) March 10, 2019