Interview

Auba - Why I let Laca take the second penalty

Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrate against Stoke City

It is a rare to see a striker on a hat-trick pass up the opportunity to take a penalty - but that is exactly what Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang did on Sunday.

The Gabon striker had already scored twice against Stoke City, but when a last-minute spot kick was awarded he gave it to Alexandre Lacazette.

But why? This is what he told the media when he was interviewed alongside Aaron Ramsey:

on the scoreline not telling the full story…
AR: It was difficult in the first half. Sometimes that happens after an international break, where it takes you a bit of time to get into it. They’re fighting for their lives at the bottom and it was important for us to just stay in the game in the first half. We know that our quality can then come through in the end. We’re delighted to get the three points.

on it being frustrating…
PEA: Yes, it was not easy. It’s not always easy to start after an international break, but the second half was really good. I think the spaces were open so we did a good job in the second half.

on whether Thursday was on the players’ minds…
AR: No I don’t think so. I think we were committed today and fought until the end. Yeah, it was frustrating at times, but those things sometimes happen in games and it was important for us to not concede. We did that and won.

on whether he felt under more pressure after his penalty v City was saved…
PEA: Yes, a little bit. I was just thinking that I needed to score and be focused. I did, so there was a little bit of pressure but it was OK.

on why he didn’t take the second penalty…
PEA: I know that Laca is back and I’d scored twice, so I wanted to let him score. It’s normal. I think it’s good for his confidence, and that’s why.

on the lower attendance…
AR: I think it was alright. We didn’t let it affect us. They were behind us. They were frustrated in the first half and so were we, but they stuck with us and we’re glad that we got them the three points in the end.

on what his haircut means…
PEA: It’s my grandmother’s name. She passed away last week, so this is dedicated to her.

Alexandre Lacazette celebrates against Stoke

How does it feel to be back, Laca?