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Arsenal's Lacazette creates history

BRACE: Alexandre Lacazette

ARSENAL GOT back to Premier League winning ways with what turned out to be a comfortable win over West Bromwich Albion at the Emirates stadium on Monday night (Sep 26). Gunners' man of the moment, their record summer signing from Lyon Alexandre Lacazette scored in each half to keep up his remarkable record of scoring in every Arsenal home game this season.

He became he first Arsenal player to score in three consecutive games since Brian Marwood, and the France striker is hitting the Premier League ground running.

"They said I did, but I am not looking for this particular type of record but more stability with the team. We won and we won with a clean sheet. All was perfect, possession, goals. During the month of September we have reconstructed ourselves defensively, we are working together. There was no feeling of panic in the team - we knew that working together would pay off," said Lacazette.

Arsene Wenger is happy that his striker is finding the net, but warns there is more to his game. "He’s not only a goalscorer, his link up play is good. He fights as well, he’s not fazed by the physical challenges that West Brom gave us today and overall he looks to adapt very quickly and very well."

On the night's performance against a typically dogged Albion, Wenger accepted that the visitors made Arsenal work for the win. "In the first half it was difficult because they are physically very strong, very mobile, they disturbed our build up and went very direct. It took us some time to adapt to that. In the second half we controlled the game much more, they dropped a little bit in their intensity and then it became more comfortable for us. Overall it finished in a comfortable way, but the first half was a bit nervy."

Lacazette followed up to head in after Alexis Sanchez saw his first half free kick come back off the bar. Albion looked lively and could have drawn level through Jay Rodriguez, but Petr Cech's goal wasn't to be breached. When Allan Nyom impeded Aaron Ramsey midway through the second half, up stepped Lacazette to slot home beyond the dive of Ben Foster to seal what transpired to be a routine win.

Arsene Wenger restored Alexis to the starting line up, and the Chilean was instrumental in a lively first 45 minutes in which the Gunners not only took the lead, but could so easily have been see that advantage pegged back by Albion. Mohamed Elneny was preferred to sit alongside Granit Xhaka and with the injury enforced absence of Danny Welbeck, Ramsey was entrusted in a more of an advance role.

The signs were ominous after four minutes when Alexis whizzed a free kick just wide of Foster's upright. A matter of minutes later and Rodriguez saw his shot palmed by Cech onto his post. He had had his heels clipped by Shkodran Mustafi, but having got back up to shoot no fuss was made. Jake Livermore fluffed the follow up as the Gunners knew they had been fortunate.

Arsenal fired back when after a swift counter attack, Ramsey headed over from from Hector Bellerin's cushioned lob. Making his first appearance for at the Emirates stadium since his summer move to the Hawthorns, Kieran Gibbs fired wide.

However Jonny Evans choice to foul Elneny just outside the area was punished when Alexis's resultant free kick came back off the post, and there instinctively following up was Lacazette to head in the opening goal.

Arsenal went in search of the second goal their football deserved. Monreal stole in, under pressure from Nyom but couldn't get his shot away. Replays suggested he had a valid penalty claim having been bundled over by Nyom.

Just past the half hour mark, Ramsey raced onto Alexis through pass, to round Foster, but as he got his shot across, Foster had recovered to gather the ball. Evans hadn't learnt his lesson and his crude raking of Lacazette's shin was worthy of the yellow be received. Alexis struck the resultant free kick just wide.

Albion will count themselves unlucky that Monreal raced back to clear off the line from Rodriguez after a rapid counter attack, and with perhaps his only error in the game, Elneny was robbed in midfield, enabling Rodriguez to fire wide. Just before the break, Hal Robson Kanu and Rodriguez again went close, but Arsenal held onto their advantage.

At the break, Arsenal will have stressed the need of a second goal to kill off Albion, and Lacaztte almost got it when Sead Kolasniac exchanged passes with Alexis. The Gunners' number seven the crossed the ball to Elneny. The Egyptian found to Lacazette whose shot was heading in, until it hit an Albion shirt and away for a corner.

Ramsey was enjoying his night and when he got the best of Nyom, the Albion defender was adjudged to have fouled the Welshman as he crashed to the ground. Referee Bobby Madely pointed to the penalty spot and Lacazette made no mistake from 12 yards to double the Gunners' lead.

Further chances to Bellerin who saw his pile driver blocked for a corner, Xhaka and Ramsey after another swift counter meant that Arsenal finished strong as Albion tired. The three points and Lacazette double was very welcome to Wenger. The rebuilding of Arsenal's Premier League foundation is now very much under way.

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