Mikel Arteta was full of praise for Alex Lacazette after the Frenchman came off the bench to bag the winner as Arsenal beat Brighton 1-0 at the AMEX Stadium.
Brought on for Gabriel Martinelli on 66 minutes, the striker needed only 21 seconds to find the net as he calmly controlled Bukayo Saka’s cutback before curling home.
Having also scored from the spot against Chelsea, it’s been a good week for Lacazette, who has endured serious struggles in front of goal during 2020.
Asked about his super sub’s performance, Arteta said: “I think this is what all the managers dream of, to bring people off the bench and they win you the game like he’s done tonight!
“I think he’s been in really good form over the last few weeks and he’s been scoring goals. He’s full of confidence and today he had a sore back, so he couldn’t start the game, but he came on and won the game for us, which is massively important.”
He added: “We had the opportunity to refresh that and use him as well in other moments. We knew Auba could last for 90 minutes, we knew that Gabi wasn’t going to last for 90 minutes for sure, so we had a substitution there and someone with a goal threat that we believed was going to be needed.””
While Arsenal’s youngsters have earned plaudits for their contributions in the last week, the boss has been very keen to highlight the role of his older heads.
“We need big players and the senior players to step up in these difficult moments, and he’s doing that for sure,” said Arteta.
“Front players need their team-mates to support them and put them in situations like he had today, as often as possible. At the same time, they have to step up and create these opportunities themselves.
“I think Laca has been working really hard. Since I’ve been here, his work has never been an issue. His goalscoring record could improve but it’s improving because he’s so willing to do it for us.”