Arsenal legend and Sky Sports pundit Thierry Henry believes Alexandre Lacazette’s contribution was crucial towards the Gunners’ 3-0 win over Stoke City on Sunday. The north London club were pretty poor with their showing for the first hour of the match, and the arrival of Lacazette from the bench triggered a change in momentum.
Speaking after the game, Henry highlighted the impact of his compatriot, saying: “I think for me he changed the game. When Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang went on the left and Lacazette came on as a No 9, he started to make runs that a No 9 should make. He started to be the guy that they were looking for to make those penetrative runs. And Aubameyang got his chance when he went on the left and made that run.And for me, Lacazette changed the game when he came on.”
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened the scoresheet in the 75th minute after a rather fortuitous penalty earned by Mesut Ozil. Shortly after, the Gabon international double the scores with a brilliant shot before Lacazette completed the scoring with another penalty which was successfully converted in the 89th minute.
With Aubameyang Cup-tied for this season’s Europa League, Lacazette’s return to the first-team is likely to provide a significant boost especially with the Gunners having entered the latter phase of the competition. Danny Welbeck has been bar-average with his performances upfront, and Lacazette being a more natural in the position is likely to provide the added threat for the quarter-final tie against CSKA Moscow.
With the top-four chase more or less impossible, the Gunners are entirely reliant on winning the Europa League this term in order to earn a backdoor entry into next season’s Champions League. Their route, however, is not easy with Atletico Madrid, Lazio and RB Leipzig expected to offer stiff competition, should they progress beyond the last-eight of the competition.