Sunday 18 August 2019

'Maybe we go to the Champions League' - Alexandre Lacazette in bullish mood as Arsenal go third

Alexandre Lacazette scored Arsenal’s second (Adam Davy/PA)
Alexandre Lacazette scored Arsenal’s second (Adam Davy/PA)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Arsenal took a huge leap towards a top four finish in the Premier League as they eased to a 2-0 win against Newcastle on Monday night, with goal scorer Alexandre Lacazette now eyeing up a place in next season's Champions League.

Aaron Ramsey's first-half goal was backed up by a late clincher from Lacazette, with the win moving Arsenal ahead of local rivals Tottenham and into third place in the Premier League with just seven games left to play.

Arsenal were ten points behind Tottenham only last month, yet Lacazette believes the momentum is on their side after a collapse from Spurs that has seen them collect just one point from a possible 15 in their last five Premier League matches.

"I can feel the difference in the atmosphere from last season, now we can maybe go to the Champions League," said Lacazette. "The fans helped us to get third place. We work every day to be in third place, now we must stay in this position.

"It was a big game tonight, a tough game. The coach said we had to be patient and efficient in the box and we did that.

"The boss says we can reach the Champions League but we have to believe in ourselves. We need to play our football and that’s what we’re doing."

Arsenal manager Unai Emery insisted his side's move up to third place was not significant yet, as he predicts his top four rivals will hit form in the final weeks of the season.

"We are making progress in the table but we know it is difficult, Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United are going to win a lot of games," said Emery.

"We were good individually, our players gave us quality and they worked for the team. Our supporters at home are very important and we can be stronger together.

"We were improving little by little and our first goal helped us a lot. Mesut Ozil has quality, when he can find the best performance for the team, he is playing like we want with the system and how tactically we want. He is giving us his quality.

"I think Aaron Ramsey is happy, he is helping us and is playing with a very good performance and scoring. Each energy from the players is very important for us and he is doing that. We are at the most important moment of the season.

"It's a nice challenge to win consecutive matches. It's a new history. We are creating our own way. We have created a big atmosphere here."

Disappointed Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez suggested his side will need just one more win from their final seven games to secure their position in the Premier League for another season.

"We played against a good team and were fine for a while in the first half. We could avoid their goal, it was a little bit lucky," he reflected.

"We had situations on the counter-attack where we could be more dangerous but we didn't do it. The last 10 minutes they had chances to score but until the second goal we were pushing. It is a shame because you could feel the atmosphere was getting nervous.

"When you play top sides away it can be a mistake which makes the difference. In the end, it was a mistake and we must learn from this and be ready for the next one.

"I think 38 points is enough, 40 just in case. Hopefully it will be less."

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