Mikel Arteta rates Alexandre Lacazette performance in new position vs Rapid Vienna

Alexandre Lacazette captained Arsenal during their 4-1 win over Rapid Vienna
Alexandre Lacazette captained Arsenal during their 4-1 win over Rapid Vienna (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta hailed the performance of his stand-in captain Alexandre Lacazette following Arsenal’s 4-1 win over Rapid Vienna in the Europa League last night.

After scoring in the first three matches of the new season, the 29-year-old had gone eight games without a goal in all competitions before playing a lead role in a victory which extended his side’s 100% record in Europe so far this season.

Lacazette was dropped to the bench for Arsenal’s two most recent Premier League matches, but staked an impressive claim to make his return to the starting line-up ahead of Sunday’s pivotal north London derby, operating in a more withdrawn role behind Eddie Nketiah against the Austrian side.

The former Lyon star opened the scoring with devastating, swerving shot from long-range and set the tone for Arsenal’s most impressive performance of the season so far with his industry and link play.

Reacting to the Frenchman’s performance, Arteta said: ‘It was a good game in that position, I think it suits him, it gives him a bit of freedom and he is really good at linking play in those positions. He worked really hard and scored a beautiful goal.

‘It was great because to score that goal, you have to shoot, and he shoots from 25 yards.

‘He took it, he never doubted, he took the first touch forwards, not backwards, and that was the mindset of where is the ball, he shoots and he scores.

‘Everyone today was really positive every time they got on the ball and we tried to attack the opponent’s box as much as possible. I think when you shoot, anything can happen, and if you don’t, we’re never going to score goals.’

Lacazette, meanwhile, confessed the last few weeks had been difficult on a personal level for him but he was delighted to return to form in front of 2,000 Arsenal fans who were able to attend the game at the Emirates.

He said: ‘It was really nice when the fans were behind us. The last couple of weeks were not easy for me, but to see the fans behind me and the team is really nice, so I really enjoyed it. Thanks to them tonight.

‘Tonight we wanted to enjoy and make it a fifth win in a row [in Europe]. We did it, and now we have to focus for the derby on the weekend. We just need to rest and see what the coach decides on Sunday.’

MORE : Martin Keown and Peter Crouch hail ‘fantastic’ Arsenal star Ainsley Maitland-Niles after Rapid Vienna victory

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