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Mikel Arteta has hinted that Alexandre Lacazette could continue in a slightly deeper role for Arsenal after his performance against Rapid Vienna.
Lacazette started at No. 10 behind leading forward Eddie Nketiah for the Gunners’ penultimate group game in the Europa League. Seemed to work as both players entered the roster in a 4-1 win.
It was Lacazette who opened the scoring in the 10th minute, and in a way. The Frenchman launched a deflected shot from the edge of the area that went over the rival goalkeeper.
He scored his first goal for Arsenal since September, after going 12 games without scoring. It was also his first goal of the European campaign.
But Lacazette’s overall performance was much stronger than it has shown in recent weeks, sparking some anticipation that he could play in the same position in the North London derby against Tottenham on Sunday.
Asked about that possibility, coach Arteta replied: “Yes, he played a good game in one position, I think it suits him. It gives you a little freedom.
“He is very good at linking the game in those positions. He worked very hard and scored a beautiful goal ”.
Arteta also spoke of how relieved it was to see his forward return to the roster, especially in the way he did.
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When asked how he felt about Lacazette’s goal, he said: “Ah, great. Because to score that goal you have to shoot and he shot from 25 meters. He never doubted.
“He gave the first touch, he went forward, not backward, forward. And again advance the game, see where the ball is, shoot and score.
“And if you don’t have that attitude, and again today everyone was very positive when they were on the ball, it’s just to go and attack the opponents’ area as much as possible.
“And I think that when you shoot anything can happen if you are not going to score goals.”
Lacazette happy to show for fans
The game marked the return of fans to an Arsenal game for the first time since the lockout, as 2000 attended the Emirates Stadium.
Speaking after the game, Lacazette admitted it made a difference to have the fans back.
“It was amazing, we were so happy to see the fans today,” he said. BT sport. “He helped us a lot during the game, even in bad times they pushed us to play well. Obviously we played well, it was good football.
And speaking of his goal, he added: “It was really good, very nice when the fans are behind us. It wasn’t easy for me this last couple of weeks, but seeing the fans behind me and the team, I really enjoyed tonight, so thanks to them.
READ MORE: Mikel Arteta explains how returning Arsenal fans made players ‘like’ him more