As Alexandre Lacazette took his seat in Anfield’s Main Stand he could not hide his emotions. Arsenal’s No.9, usually so relaxed on the sidelines, seemed close to tears as he reflected on what might have been.
Indeed he may have allowed himself a brief moment of primal emotion, be it rage, self-pity or anything else, when he pulled his jersey over his face as cameras across the ground swivelled to observe him. Regardless of the truth of it, he seemed convinced that he had lost Arsenal the match.
He was not alone. ‘Supporters’ on social media rounded on a player who had scored in each of Arsenal’s three Premier League games so far this season, Roy Keane was saying on Sky that Lacazette had missed “huge opportunities that you have to take” whilst even referee Craig Pawson seemed unable to hide his surprise at seeing two chances go to waste.
No wonder. Those were the chances to earn Arsenal something out of a game in which they had been handed a thudding reminder of just how far off Liverpool’s pace they are.
And yet these were not gimmy chances and to assess Lacazette’s performance on those misses alone is to do the Frenchman a disservice, as Arteta himself noted.
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“Obviously he had the best chance in the game to make it 2-2, and then again put us in a really strong position, but he had a great game,” He put in another incredible performance and I’m pleased with him.
Monday’s defeat was a reminder of the curious space in which Arsenal’s No.9 exists, a striker who is both underappreciated for all that he does aside from putting the ball in the net but equally one who needs to bring half a dozen or more goals a season to truly live up to the £48million the Gunners invested in him three years ago.
For starters there was the goal, scruffily taken though it was after Andrew Robertson’s shanked clearance. But Lacazette has always brought more to…