Alexandre Lacazette was one of the stars of Arsenal’s 2-0 win against West Bromwich Albion on Monday, continuing his strong form at the Emirates with two goals.
Lacazette grabbed a brace on the night to add to the goals he scored against Bournemouth and Leicester, bringing him to four in three games for the season at the Emirates.
Overall, the French striker is showing with each game that he isn’t just a poacher. But when poaching is exactly what the Gunners need, the club record signing has shown his capabilities on multiple occasions. The match against West Brom was no different.
It’s no accident when Alexis Sanchez’s free kick was well saved by Ben Foster, the 26-year-old was the first on the scene to head into the net. His movement in the build up to the free-kick left him unmarked and prepared for the ‘keeper to spill it.
Then Lacazette got to show off his “ice cold” qualities in front of goal from the penalty spot, after Allan Nyom fouled Aaron Ramsey in the box.
Lacazette scored 11 penalties for Lyon last season, so even with Alexis Sanchez still on the pitch there was no doubt about who would be taking this one.
As expected, Lyon’s former top scorer slotted the penalty right into the bottom corner, beyond the grasp of Ben Foster despite the Albion goalie guessing the right way.
In fact, Lacazette was unlucky not to get a hat-trick. Chasing an ambitious long ball from Alexis Sanchez, the 26-year-old pulled off a fantastic first touch to bring the ball down and sold the ‘keeper a dummy to leave him on the floor.
But the angle was just too tight, and he ended up firing wide. Alexandre has brought more than just goals to Arsenal’s play so far though, and that was on display again on Monday.
He created another chance to make it 1.29 chances created per 90 for the season so far, better than the likes of Chelsea’s Alvaro Morata, Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus, although currently behind Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku and Manchester City’s Sergio Agüero in the division.
One place where Lacazette continues to far outshine those two is in taking on opponents. He completed all four of his attempted take-ons against West Brom, making it 89% completed in the league overall.
Lukaku and Agüero are on 56% and 47% respectively, so the Arsenal man is clearly way ahead of the competition when it comes to beating his opponent in one-on-ones.
Against a physical West Brom side, Arsenal’s number nine even managed to win two-thirds of his aerial duels, despite standing at just 5’9″.
That just sums up his determination to win the ball as much as possible. This is also highlighted by the fact that the only ‘big six’ strikers to win more tackles than him this season are Danny Welbeck and Roberto Firmino.
I believe Lacazette put in a top class striker’s performance on Monday, and given the centre-forward will likely be rested for the Europa League as he was against FC Köln, he’ll hope to keep that going against Brighton at the weekend.