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How Arsenal’s Offensive Prowess Can Outweigh Its Defensive Fragilities

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Arsenal registered their first away win of the Premier League season, as they narrowly escaped past the resilient Cardiff City on Sunday lunchtime.

The Gunners traveled back to North London after taking all 3 points, with a 3-2 victory. The game was locked at 2-2 until the dying stages, when Lacazette scored a late winner for Arsenal with Shkodran Mustafi and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring earlier in the game. Victor Camarasa and Danny Ward were on the scoresheet for the home side.

The defensive woes remain for the North Londoners as to how they are leaking so many goals, with Petr Cech being massively uncomfortable playing out from the back, in this new style of play, and maybe it’s time for the new signing Bernd Leno to get a game or two. The back four is gaining stability though, with Hector Bellerin and Monreal Monreal as full-backs with Mustafi and Sokratis in between.

The midfield triangle is still in experimental stage at the moment, with Unai Emery using Lucas Torreira, Aaron Ramsey, Granit Xhaka and Matteo Guendouzi in games, but will soon need to find a solution.

But the major talking point here is Lacazette and Aubameyang starting together. Emery finally named the pair in the starting eleven this season, and they proved why they must start in every game this season. And it was due to the combination of the two, that Arsenal gathered all three points on the day as the Gunners appeared far more comfortable in attack at Cardiff with Aubameyang out wide and the Frenchman as a spearhead.

Since Aubameyang arrived at Arsenal, Lacazette has all but found himself coming off the bench more often than not, but he smashed the post only after 33 minutes in the game, where he looked sharp in the number 9 position. Later at 1-1 in the second half, The Gabonese scored with a brilliant strike after latching on to Lacazette’s pass to make it 2-1.

The striker did not score in the opening three games of the tournament and got off the mark with a great finish which will certainly do good for his confidence.

Lacazette, on the other hand is holding Arsenal’s attacking play together in Unai Emery’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation, with Mesut Ozil on the number 10 role. On Sunday, Unai Emery went for an attacking trio of Özil, Aaron Ramsey and Aubameyang behind Lacazette hoping each one brings their quality into the game.

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It is also worth noting that Arsenal’s win ratio with Lacazette starting in the Premier League (59.3%) is better than it is without the France international (33.3%), with Arsenal’s goals per game rising from 1.53 to 2.19 when the striker plays from the start.

When played together, the two big names in Lacazette and Aubameyang certainly bring out the best in them, as they switch positions often and find themselves in dangerous positions making it easy for the midfielders to thread balls for them.

Both have pace, power, timing of runs and finishing ability coupled with the composure needed in front of goal in their lockers and can finish off opponents at their will.

It may be said that Aubameyang is still considered as the main striker at Arsenal, but Lacazette’s contributions to the team cannot be ignored, and it is vital for both to continue their good run of form of late, and in the last few weeks, Lacazette has already proven that he deserves a regular place week in week out, and Emery’s selection problems have increased, but one cannot deny the fact Lacazette and Aubameyang have to start together at all costs.

The international break is upon us and we will see the Londoners travel to Newcastle later next week. But for now, no matter the defensive crisis Arsenal are in, it is safe to say that Goals will continue to come with the two main strikers in top form for Arsenal.

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