Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger played down concerns over Alexandre Lacazette’s fitness after the club’s £47m record signing scored his first goal at Emirates Stadium, only to hobble off moments later.
Lacazette marked an otherwise quiet display with a smart back-post finish from an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain cross as the Gunners slipped to a 2-1 defeat to Sevilla on their way to winning the Emirates Cup.
“Lacazette was ok. I took him off but not because he was injured,” said Wenger, who praised the France striker’s progress.
“Scoring goals is about being in the right place when the cross comes in and Lacazette has that quality. It was an encouraging performance. Week after week, Lacazette looks to adapt quickly. Overall I think it will take him one or two months.”
How did Arsenal win Emirates Cup?
Arsenal won their traditional pre-season tournament despite Sevilla finishing with a 100 per cent record, having also beaten Red Bull Leipzig on Saturday.
Teams are awarded an extra point for each goal they score, in a move to encourage attacking play, and the hosts’ 5-2 win over Benfica 24 hours earlier proved decisive in pipping Sevilla on goal scored after both team finished with nine points and equal goal difference.
Joaquin Correa put Sevilla in front just after half-time when he collected Wissam Ben-Yedder’s pass and tucked past Petr Cech and, after Lacazette’s equaliser, former Stoke and Blackburn midfielder Steven N’Zonzi swung a languid left foot at a first-time shot and swept it into the top-right corner from 20 yards.