Alexandre Lacazette proved he can have an impact in the biggest games once again on Saturday, scoring a vital goal for Unai Emery’s side in Arsenal’s clash with Liverpool.
Thanks to his mid-season injury last campaign and his brief spell on the bench at the start of his one, Lacazette has only started six league games against the ‘big six’ clubs since joining Arsenal.
In those games, he has two goals against Manchester United and Liverpool and two assists against Spurs and Liverpool. He also scored one from the bench against Manchester City, for a total of five goal-contributions in 627 minutes, or one every 125 minutes. Against the best clubs in England, that’s a great record.
It was the same story in Europe last season. Lacazette didn’t play until the Europa League quarter-final, thanks to squad rotation and his knee injury, but then he scored three goals in four games. The highlight was his header against Atletico Madrid, which would’ve been a vital goal if the defenders didn’t throw away the lead late on.
Similarly, Lacazette only appeared in one League Cup tie last season, the semi-final against Chelsea. Although he technically didn’t score or assist, that really is a technicality. It was his great hold up play and pass that led to Granit Xhaka’s winning goal, it just took a deflection on the way.
Considering how much Arsenal have struggled in these big games in recent years, having a player consistently making a difference in them is a massive boost. Let’s hope he can keep it up in the games against Tottenham and Manchester United next month.