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Horrific news for Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette
Oh no, oh no, oh no.
This is the doomsday scenario all Arsenal fans were worried about when Olivier Giroud left the Gunners to join Chelsea in January.
On Tuesday afternoon, out of nowhere, Arsenal have confirmed that Alexandre Lacazette is injured.
And it’s a bad setback too: between four to six weeks.
And knowing how Arsenal’s injuries pan out, will this actually prove to be the end of Lacazette’s season?
The news was reported by Arsenal as follows:
Striker Alex Lacazette had an arthroscopy on his left knee in London on Tuesday morning.
The minor procedure was a success and he will now undergo a period of rehabilitation.
It is envisaged that he will return to the squad within four to six weeks.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 13, 2018
Danny Welbeck to start vs Ostersunds
Arsenal now have a major problem in their quest to win the Europa League this season.
New signing Pierre-Emerick Aubamayang is ineligible to play for Arsenal in this season’s UEL.
That’s after Auba’s previous club, Borussia Dortmund, dropped into the Europa League after being turfed out the Champions League.
Lacazette was all set to be Arsenal’s first choice striker for their Europa League campaign, but this knee injury update means that plan is scrapped.
Arsenal take on Swedish minnows Ostersunds on Thursday night in the last-32 of the competition. It now looks like Danny Welbeck will start up front for the Gunners in that key match.
Arsenal have been useless away from home this season. So will there be another shock on the cards on Thursday?
And can we kiss Arsenal’s 2018-19 Champions League hopes goodbye?
I'm told this was an ongoing problem that needed fixing – but a brutal blow for Wenger just before Europa League.
— James Benge (@jamesbenge) February 13, 2018
Absolutely nothing is going right for Lacazette at the minute, really hope he makes a quick recovery and this break gives him a chance to get his mind focused again.
— MR DT © (@MrDtAFC) February 13, 2018
Good job I didn't spend last night writing 1200 words on Lacazette playing in the Europa League.
— Tim Stillman (@Stillberto) February 13, 2018
It was another fun-packed weekend in the Premier League, with plenty of areas for discussion at both ends of the table.
Manchester City’s victory over Leicester City left them eleventy million points clear at the top of the standings and they could have things wrapped up by the end of March.
Sportslens takes a look at five talking points from over the weekend.
Wenger in denial about his defence
Arsene Wenger hit back at Martin Keown’s criticism of Arsenal’s defence after Saturday’s derby defeat, but the club’s former centre-back was spot on with his assessment.
Harry Kane was given a free header for the winning goal, but the Spurs striker could easily have had a hat-trick against the Gunners’ flaky backline.
Arsenal look dangerous going forward, but they are still an accident waiting to happen at the back. The first step in solving a problem is recognising there is one. Wenger’s continued denials are a joke.
Hernandez proving his worth with West Ham
Javier Hernandez’s goal against Watford on Saturday was his third in his last four games for West Ham and he’s beginning to show his true form for the club.
Hernandez struggled to hit it off with Andy Carroll, but he is thriving with the big striker out injured once again.
The Mexican looked to be on his way out of the club during January, but in this sort of form West Ham would be silly to let him go.
Aguero the star of the show
Kevin De Bruyne has picked up many of the plaudits for Manchester City this season, but Sergio Aguero demonstrated his own value to the team against Leicester City on Saturday.
City were off the pace in the first half, but Aguero’s four-goal haul after the break perfectly showcased his finishing ability.
His fourth was a touch of magic, taking a pass 25 yards from goal and unleashing a spectacular shot that rattled the upright and went straight in. Simply breathtaking.
Benitez can keep Newcastle up
It’s been a frustrating season for Newcastle United fans, especially with the ongoing uncertainty over whether owner Mike Ashley will ever sell the club.
Manager Rafa Benitez has made no secret of his frustration over what he believes to be a lack of investment in the squad, but Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Manchester United certainly boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation.
The Red Devils created enough chances to win the game, but Newcastle were competitive throughout and this result could be crucial in their fight for survival.
Aldridge off target with striker comments
There’s a few questionable pundits around the Premier League at the moment and John Aldridge is pretty high up the list.
Aldridge claimed Liverpool’s potential title challenge this season has been hampered by the lack of a recognised striker, but one thing you can’t accuse the Reds of is a shortage of firepower.
Robert Firmino and Mohamed Salah have both broken through the 20-goal barrier in all competitions and the former Liverpool striker’s views are laughable.
Unresolved defensive issues remain Liverpool’s biggest problem, while a creative midfielder also wouldn’t go amiss. Scoring enough goals is the least of their worries.
Aldridge was a superb finisher during his playing career. Punditry? Lousy.
Romelu Lukaku delivered a superbly composed performance on the ball during Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United at St James’ Park.
The Belgian held up the ball brilliantly in the first half and provided a reliable attacking axis to give Man United a strong foothold in the game.
And he should have had an assist to his name in the second half when his perfectly weighted through ball found Alexis Sanchez, who some how failed to find the net after rounding keeper Martin Dubravka.
Lukaku’s numbers from the game show clearly that he didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.
Lukaku’s game by numbers vs. Newcastle:
1 key pass
3 aerial duels won
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) February 11, 2018
Much has been made of Mourinho’s inability to mould a consistently successful attacking dynamic with the current attacking options – deemed sufficient by the man himself last week – at his disposal.
And while the likes of Lukaku, Anthony Martial and Sanchez will need more time to properly click, some better finishing from the latter pair would have seen United’s attacking performance hailed as comprehensive, the Belgian serving as a powerful focal point from which others could benefit going forward.
As it was, Lukaku’s precise hold-up play didn’t receive the end product it deserved, but for all of United’s shortcomings against Newcastle supporters can take confidence from the number of chances their side can create with the striker in such ebullient mood.