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 By Tom Adams

Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang impress; Petr Cech struggles

Arsenal made it two wins in a row but had to work hard for all three points when beating Cardiff 3-2 away from home.

First goals of the season from Shkodran Mustafi and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang twice put Arsenal in control, but twice Cardiff profited from some lax defending to equalise through Victor Camarasa and Danny Ward. But man-of-the-match Alexandre Lacazette found the winner on 81 minutes as he emphatically smashed the ball into the roof of the net to give Arsenal an uncomfortable, unconvincing but very welcome win.


Lacazette's performance was a huge boost for Arsenal as he showed what he is capable of from the start. Emery's attack is functioning well in spells and he would have taken note of the way the Frenchman dovetailed with Aubameyang.


Prior to kick-off, Cardiff were the only club in the top divisions yet to score this season. Not only did Arsenal allow them two goals, the home side had numerous other chances. Arsenal's defensive disorganisation is chronic. Petr Cech also had a nightmare with the ball at his feet and if Unai Emery is intent on playing the ball out from the back it may be time for Bernd Leno.

Manager rating out of 10

6 - Bringing in Lacazette paid off but Emery also used Ozil on the right of the attack, a knock-on effect being Hector Bellerin was over-exposed. Emery has tough decisions to take over Ozil and Cech, who showed himself ill-suited to Emery's style. His introduction of Lucas Torreira helped turn the game in Arsenal's favour but the midfielder should arguably have started ahead of Granit Xhaka. Emery is still feeling his way into this job and much more work is needed on the defence.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Petr Cech, 5 - Kept his place ahead of summer signing Leno but looked uncomfortable with Emery's instructions to play out from the back from the first minute, when he stumbled receiving a pass. Nearly cost Arsenal a goal when he later passed the ball straight to Arter. Not good.

DF Hector Bellerin, 5 - Had a tough afternoon with Ozil not doing enough to help him out and his contribution to the attack was less noticeable.

DF Sokratis Papastathopoulos, 6 - Looked a little more comfortable in Arsenal's high line but the organisation for the two Cardiff goals was not good enough.

DF Shkodran Mustafi, 7 - A first goal since March was welcome for the centre-back as he thundered in a header from Xhaka's corner. Threatened a few more times too.

DF Nacho Monreal, 5 - Could have got on the scoresheet when he was alert to a mistake from Bruno Manga in the box on 15 minutes but saw his effort saved. Monreal was culpable at the other end for Cardiff's equaliser as he first let Camarasa get away from him in the box, then got too tight to him when trying to make amends.

MD Granit Xhaka, 4 - Is surely living on borrowed time under Emery. Showed he can deliver a corner when setting up Mustafi's goal but sadly set up Cardiff's too with a terrible attempt at a cross-field pass.

MD Matteo Guendouzi, 6 - Has started all four league games under Emery and the teenager continues to show promise. He has cut out the grave mistakes and, while still having room to improve, has shown with his use of the ball and dogged determination to win it back that he merits inclusion.

MD Aaron Ramsey, 7 - Was fired up from the word go against his former side and almost scored on nine minutes from a clever corner routine. Battled hard throughout, even if it didn't quite happen for him.

FW Mesut Ozil, 5 - Returned after his much-debated bout of illness and despite being told by Emery that he needs to work harder, Ozil offered Bellerin too little cover from his position on the right. Was involved in the build-up for Aubameyang's goal but otherwise a bit quiet.

FW Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 7 - Needed a goal and got it on 62 minutes when he latched onto a lovely flick from Lacazette and bent one into the far corner.

FW Alexandre Lacazette, 8 - Finally got a starting place and almost repaid Emery handsomely on 33 minutes when smacking a shot off the post. His assist for the Aubameyang goal was exquisite and Lacazette's link-up play was excellent all afternoon. His finish was a belter, topping off a fine performance.


Lucas Torreira (on for Guendouzi, 71), N/A -- Claimed the assist for Lacazette and generally impressed.

Danny Welbeck (on for Ozil, 84), N/A - Too little time to make an impact.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan (on for Aubameyang, 89), N/A - No time to do anything.


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