Belfast Telegraph

Silence is goal-den for Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette

Arsenal forward banning talk of top-four finish despite starring in Fulham rout.

Alexandre Lacazette scored twice as Arsenal thrashed Fulham. (John Walton/PA)
Alexandre Lacazette scored twice as Arsenal thrashed Fulham. (John Walton/PA)

Alexandre Lacazette scored twice as Arsenal thrashed Fulham to extend their winning run to nine matches – but the forward insists it is too early to talk of securing a return to the Premier League top four.

The Gunners won 5-1 at Craven Cottage on Sunday to record nine successive victories in all competitions for the first time in 11 years, moving two points off the top of the table in the process.

Head coach Unai Emery lost his first two games in charge – to champions Manchester City and London rivals Chelsea – but since then his team has been flawless.

Lacazette struck two fine finishes either side of an Andre Schurrle equaliser for Fulham before Aaron Ramsey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came off the bench to add the gloss to the win.

Ramsey, on the pitch for less than 40 seconds, started and finished a fine team move with a sumptuous flick while Aubameyang grabbed a brace of his own.

With Arsenal heading into the international break on the back of a positive run of results there is talk they could now finish back in the top four – if not challenge for the title – having missed out on Champions League football for the last two seasons.

Lacazette put Arsenal ahead at Craven Cottage (John Walton/PA)

Lacazette, however, wants to silence any chat of such an achievement and focus on doing the things which have enabled Emery to oversee such a streak.

“To talk about the top four is early I think,” he said.

“We have to keep quiet and work like we did before and the season is going well. Just work as we did and we will see at the end of the season.

“The team spirit is good, of course when you win it is better. We will enjoy it, we are working well and we want to continue like this.

“It was hard for Fulham because they played well in the first half. They made it hard for us to play but we knew if we kept playing we would score so everyone is happy today.

“We knew if we lost the first two games it wasn’t the end of the world. We have worked and knew we could go forward so everything is better now.”

Lacazette joined Arsenal last summer for a then-club record fee before that amount was eclipsed in January as fellow forward Aubameyang came in from Borussia Dortmund.

The pair have clicked on and off the pitch, Aubameyang now having scored 16 goals in his first 23 appearances – a better start to life at Arsenal than Thierry Henry.

“It is good,” Lacazette said of his relationship with Aubameyang.

“He is like my brother, every day we talk, we love to work together and today in front of the goal and we score, for us, two goals, which is good.

“It is hard to compare (Aubameyang’s record) with Thierry because he came younger and Auba is at the top of his career but I hope Auba scores as many goals to help us win something.”

In slipping to defeat, Fulham remain in 17th place with just one win since their return to the top flight.

Fulham have picked up five points from their opening eight Premier League games. (Chris Radburn/PA)

Slavisa Jokanovic’s side are the only Premier League team yet to keep a clean sheet this season – but the Whites boss is not about to park the bus in an attempt to turn things around.

“We tried to win the game,” he said.

“I trust and believe that if we do this, one day we will win the game. If you believe the solution is sit in the box and try find the solution in this way, I don’t believe in this way.

“I must be worried when we play bad and lose, I trust we play well and have more options to win the game.”



From Belfast Telegraph