Lacazette was making his first Premier League start of the season after rescuing a point for Mikel Arteta’s side against Crystal Palace on Monday.
Alexandre Lacazette helped inspire Arsenal to an impressive 3-1 win over Aston Villa – and staked a big claim for a new contract for the second time in five days.
Arsenal learned the lessons of their draw against Palace when they welcomed Dean Smith’s side to the Emirates on Friday night.
The Gunners had started well against the Eagles with Nicolas Pepe setting up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s early opener, but they faded badly.
They needed Lacazette’s last-gasp leveller to save their blushes after Palace scored two second-half goals, and he was rewarded with a start alongside Aubameyang against Villa.
Arsenal again started brightly in Friday’s clash, but this time they maintained their intensity throughout the first half, and Lacazette was a big part of that.
Playing in a No10 role just off Aubameyang, Lacazette was chasing balls down and forcing errors, as well as switching play between Bukayo Saka on the right and Emile Smith Rowe and the impressive Nuno Tavares on the left.
When Aubameyang had the ball in the net early on it was down to Lacazette’s tenacious pressing, although the effort was ruled out for a foul by the French forward.
Arsenal’s dominance was eventually rewarded midway through the first half with Thomas Partey’s first goal for the club from a Smith Rowe corner – with much of the Gunners’ best work having come down that left flank.
The only complaint the Gunners could have is that they should have scored more by the break. But Lacazette helped to rectify that when he won the penalty from which Aubameyang doubled their lead on the rebound from Emi Martinez’s save in first-half stoppage time.
Speculation continues to surround Lacazette’s future, with the 30-year-old’s contract set to expire next summer.
He will of course be free to talk to clubs from abroad when the January transfer window opens, and for the second time in less than a week he has shown why Arsenal should tie him down to a new deal and give him more game time.
When he came on against Palace on Monday he injected some of the urgency Arteta’s side had been lacking and ultimately made the crucial intervention that ensured they stayed unbeaten in five league games.
Speaking before Friday’s game, Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville questioned how effective Lacazette would be in his pressing, and how he well he would work together with Aubameyang.
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Lacazette’s answer was emphatic, with his energetic display integral to what was arguably Arsenal’s best attacking performance of the season.
It was no more than Arsenal deserved when Smith Rowe fired home after being played in by Aubameyang early in the second half.
And Arteta appears to have an optimum blend of his best attacking stars, which could leave the likes of Martin Odegaard and Nicolas Pepe having to push for a first-team place.
It was Odegaard who came on for Lacazette after he took a knock just past the hour mark, with Arsenal enduring a few nerves after Jacob Ramsey pulled one back for Villa – especially when Leon Bailey’s free-kick whistled just over the bar late on.
There was also a late cameo from Gabriel Martinelli – and Arteta now looks to have plenty of attacking options.