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Arsenal secured the top spot in Group B of the Europa League when Alexandre Lacazette scored an impressive goal in a 4-1 win over Rapid Vienna.
Alexandre Lacazette ended their scoring drought when Arsenal managed a 4-1 win over Rapid Vienna to secure first place in Group B of the Europa League.
Lacazette had eight games without scoring before the Gunners took the lead in the 10th minute Thursday with an impressive long-range shot.
Pablo Mari headed in the second from a corner before Eddie Nketiah finished off an elegant team goal a minute before half-time.
Arsenal, who had already qualified for the final 32 of the competition, conceded when Koya Kitagawa shot home early in the second half, but Emile Smith Rowe added a quarter to stifle any hope of a comeback.
Mikel Arteta made 11 changes from the team that lost 2-1 at home to Wolves in the Premier League last weekend and those involved got off to a high-paced start.
Rapid carelessly lost possession of a throw-in and the ball rebounded kindly for Lacazette, who made a spectacular deflection past goalkeeper Richard Strebinger.
The Gunners gave the 2,000 authorized fans inside Emirates Stadium another goal to cheer on after Mari’s head launched a Reiss Nelson corner kick into the net.
Nelson slashed the ball for Lacazette, who was operating in a slightly deeper role, just before half an hour, but this time he sent his effort into the post.
20 – Alexandre Lacazette is only the eighth player to score 20 goals in the UEFA Europa League since 2009/10; his first goal for Arsenal tonight was only his third from outside the box in the competition. Rank. #UEL pic.twitter.com/1N23H4ErSr
– OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 3, 2020
Arsenal left the Austrian side with a mountain to climb just before half-time when a deft passing movement saw Nketiah head the ball after Strebinger stopped his opening shot.
Rapid retired a goal two minutes after half-time when the ball passed through the area before it fell to Kitagawa and Kitagawa slipped into a crowded area.
But Arsenal regained their composure and Maitland-Niles capitalized on another Rapid error by putting in substitute Smith Rowe to seal the victory.