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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s double in the dismantling of Leeds United in the first half of Arsenal led the Gunners to 200 goals in the “top five” European leagues, before the star forward completed his first hat-trick in the Premier League.
Aubameyang, who made his first league start since January 18 after taking leave to care for his ailing mother, marked his return to the Arsenal lineup in style at the Emirates Stadium.
The 31-year-old opened the scoring in the 13th minute with a low kick that had the power to beat Illan Meslier, whose awkward challenge to Bukayo Saka gave Aubameyang a chance to make it 2-0 from the penalty spot.
Having sent Meslier down the wrong track, Aubameyang scored his 200th goal in Europe’s top five leagues, in what was his 369th appearance – he’s the ninth player to reach the milestone in those divisions.
It was his 61st goal at Arsenal, 37 less than the total he achieved during his time at Borussia Dortmund (98).
200 – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored his 200th goal in the top five leagues in Europe. Since the 2009-10 season when he made his Ligue 1 debut for Lille, he is the ninth player to reach 200 goals in all five divisions. Instinct. pic.twitter.com/GLpSNv13bK
– OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 14, 2021
Aubameyang’s first goal in Ligue 1 came for Lille in December 2009, before he then went on to stints at Monaco, Saint-Etienne in France before moving to Dortmund in 2013 and finally joining the Gunners three years ago. .
It was also the first time Aubameyang scored in consecutive Premier League starts in a single season since last February, when he did so against Newcastle United and Everton, and the first time he has scored at least twice in successive starts in England. . top flight.
Hector Bellerin’s well-crafted goal put Arsenal 3-0 on the brink of the break: The Gunners scored three first-half goals in a Premier League game for the second time with Mikel Arteta, having previously done so in July 2020 against Watford.
Aubameyang headed off a cross shot by Emile Smith Rowe just after the break to complete his first Premier League hat-trick.
THE GOALS OF THE AUBAMEYANG BEST FIVE LEAGUE: A BREAKDOWN
Lille (2009-10) – 14 games, two goals.
Monaco (2010-11): 19 appearances, two goals.
Saint-Etienne (2010-13) – 87 games, 37 goals.
Borussia Dortmund (2013-18): 144 games, 98 goals.
Arsenal (2018-21) – 105 games, 62 goals.