When Alexandre Lacazette hit the ball from 30 yards away from goalkeeper Richard Stribinger, it was a moment of euphoria as the Frenchman celebrated with the returning Arsenal fans.
There was probably a great deal of relief there as well as the shot finished 488 minutes without goal in all competitions.
While the goal would give the 29-year-old a boost, his performance in a deeper role would have given Mikel Arteta plenty of food to contemplate ahead of Sunday’s North London Derby.
“He played a good game in this position,” Arteta said after the 4-1 victory over Rapid Vienna. “It suits him. He’s really good at connecting play, he worked really hard and scored a beautiful goal. It’s great to be on the scoring list and doing really well individually too.”
In the 63rd minute, Lacazette was on the field, he looked strong and pulled the strings for Arsenal. It was his pass from the rear that launched Nicholas Pepe into building the Eddie Nikitia goal. The French player could have added more goals to his tally but for a good save from Strebinger and off the post.
Lacazette looked different to the one we’ve seen in the Premier League so far this season, and with Arsenal’s creativity woes in the well-documented league, he could provide an answer for Arteta. He plays behind Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, and could provide the spark his teammate has lost so far this season.
Tottenham’s suggestion would be tougher than Rapid Vienna’s, but his impressive display will definitely boost confidence before the trip to Tottenham Hotspur.
Oliver Yu in the Emirates
Sunday, December 5: Tottenham (A)
Thursday, December 10: Dundalk (A)
Sunday, December 13: Burnley (H)
Wednesday, December 16: Southampton (H)
Saturday, December 19: Everton (A)
Despite the eight changes from Saturday’s draw with Chelsea, it looks like the Spurs squad that tops the table, on paper at least, will have more than enough to deal with Lusk who fell 7-1 on aggregate to Manchester United in the Europa League season. the past .
With a goalkeeper who won the Premier League between the sticks, one of the world’s most valuable offensive players and Pierre Emile Hogeberg and Tangy Ndombele, two of Tottenham’s best players this season, the point Jose Mourinho’s side needed seemed relatively cosmetic.
Mourinho had placed his team in the second series after being defeated in Antwerp two games earlier, but there was nothing but admiration for Ludogorets 4-0 defeat last week.
Going back to square one, then, he left Spurs sticking to a point in Austria, with the hosts sticking and their intensity more than matching the seemingly superior ability of Premier League visitors.
But Mourinho backed off a little this time. “The only good thing that I took from the match is that we are qualified,” he told reporters after the match, but 16 years after his first move to these shores, we know exactly what that means.
But he was most evident when he was later asked what he had learned Thursday night. “There is nothing really new. The fact that the group stage in the European League does not motivate some players, I knew it … The players know it and I share my feelings, I am usually right.
“When I saw the pre-match warm-up, I had a feeling and told the players before the match that there was a huge difference in intensity, communication and enthusiasm in the warm-up and the warm-up because I was looking forward to both. Nothing surprised me.”
After defeating Antwerp, he said his players had made his life “very easy” by picking the starting line-up for Tottenham’s next match, picking only four out of 11 in Austria on Thursday. But after another opportunity to admire was largely wasted, there may be fewer players he truly trusts than ever before.
Sunday, December 6: Arsenal (H)
Thursday, December 10: Antwerp (h)
Sunday, December 13: Crystal Palace (A)
Wednesday, December 16: Liverpool (outside earth)
Sunday, December 20: Leicester (H)
The Rangers continue to show no boundaries. On Thursday, they extended their unbeaten run to 24 matches in all competitions with Scott Arfield back in the lead as they beat Standard Liege to book their place in the 32nd round of the Europa League.
One of the main reasons why Steven Gerrard’s team reached December without any flaw in their record was the return of Arfield, who was reborn in Ibrox and a role model for his teammates. Gerrard praised the midfielder for his contribution to winning the match, which made it impossible to do without him.
Repeated Rangers Chief: “He’s in … he’s in.” BT Sport. “If you play like him on a daily basis, you’ll still be in the team. We’ll have to take care of him sometimes but Scott is in merit.”
It is remarkable to consider the steps the former Burnley player took after a difficult pre-season, but he now has seven goals to his name this season.
“We’re thriving and I’m the mainstay at the moment in this team, but the moment you think you’ll play every game, when someone takes your shirt, it’s the mentality that the coach has put in place from day one, and it’s the mentality I’ve always had as a player,” Arfield added. In this team he has the same mentality. “
By combining correct stance with unquestionable quality, the opponent will be keen to avoid Rangers in the knockout stages.
Sunday, December 6: Ross County (A)
Thursday, December 10: Les Poznan (A)
Sunday, December 13: Dundee United (A)
Wednesday, December 16: Saint Mirren (A)
Saturday, December 19: Motherwell (H)
Although Leicester still needed to finish first in Group G, the main goal of their trip to eastern Ukraine was to bring Ricardo Pereira, Caglar Soyuncu and Wilfried Ndidi back into the first-team fold.
It was a mixed night in this regard.
Leicester was asked to do a lot of defense in the early stages and perhaps the stressful nature was the reason that caused Soyunku to be hit in the 16th minute. It seemed simple enough to defend, but he immediately pointed to the bench being stuck in the groin with a repeat injury that kept him away For eight weeks.
There was better news about Ricardo who played 45 minutes and Ndidi.
“He is one of the best defenders in European football,” said Brendan Rodgers upon the return of Ricardo. Despite not the usual agitated workouts we expected of him, he received a good defensive workout in his first start for nine months after a serious knee injury. This was a good starting point for him, but the start of the Premier League is still a few weeks away and he has been replaced at break by Block Thomas.
Meanwhile, Ndidi is back again as if he hasn’t moved away. One perfect example came in 25 minutes when breaking a dangerous attack with a strong but fair challenge in midfield. He didn’t get past much of the midfield in 55 minutes of play. Rodgers should have been tempted to throw him right from the start against Sheffield United, live on Sky Sports on Big Sunday.
Sunday, December 6: Chef United (A)
Thursday, December 10: AEC Athena (A)
Sunday, December 13: Brighton (H)
Wednesday, December 16: Everton (H)
Sunday, December 20: Tottenham (A)
There is a lot of gloom and gloom around Celtic at the moment, but there were rays of light in San Siro. The guests led two clean goals scored by Tom Rogic and Edward Odson. Celtic may be struggling at the moment, but they pounced on Milan’s defensive mistakes and made them pay the price.
The problem is, Milan did the same and there were a lot of them.
Ryan Christie made an unnecessary foul to object to Hakan Calhanoglu’s free kick into the net. There was no denying the delivery quality – it was world-class – but Vasilis Barkas at least had to try to find it to his rescue. He watched it land in the bottom corner.
There were five players on the ground ahead of Samo Castillejo when he scored the equalizer, and Jens Peter Hogg overcame the Celtic defense to score both of Milan’s next two goals, revealing their flaws and exploiting their lack of confidence.
But Celtic had another good spell between the two goals in the second half and arguably should have scored another. Jeremy Frimpong – Celtic’s most creative attacking performer – came close, and Christie made a dramatic save, jumping from Gianluigi Donnarumma’s free kick with a free kick almost identical to Calhanoglu’s kick. The difference was Milan’s quality of goalkeeping.
Neil Lennon is back on the drawing board again, but there were positives and some reactions after Sunday’s Scottish League Cup defeat, albeit not the victor that fans were hoping for.
Now, all of their attention should be on the Scottish Premier League, starting with St Johnston away this weekend.
Sunday, December 6: Saint Johnston (h)
Thursday, December 10: Sparta Prague (A)
Sunday, December 13: Kilmarnock (h)
Wednesday, December 23: Ross County (H)
Saturday, December 26: Hamilton Academic (h)
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