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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he was impressed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s generous gesture of passing up the chance of a hat-trick to instead offer a helping hand to returning team-mate Alexandre Lacazette. January signing Aubameyang had a perfect opportunity to claim his first hat-trick in English football when Lacazette was brought down in the area in the final minute of the Gunners’ 3-0 win over Stoke City on Sunday, after a penalty and volley from the Gabon international had put the hosts two up.
Rather than go for goal himself, the 28-year-old elected to allow Lacazette, playing his first game back from an injury lay-off, to take the penalty and score only his second goal of 2018. ‘I know Alexandre Lacazete is back [from injury] and I had scored twice already so I knew it would be good for his confidence,’ Aubameyang told Sky Sports in his post-match interview. Manager Wenger praised his latest signing for his genorosity and suggested the surprise it has been met with is a reflection of society as whole.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, the Frenchman said: ‘That shows well the state of our society. When people are generous there is surprise. ‘Even more when footballers are generous. And when it’s strikers even more. ‘I know they have a good understanding. I like that, they can only make the team stronger. Lacazette came back from a long injury and I think it’s great. ‘Would you have done what Aubameyang did? I’m not sure.’ Arsenal face CSKA Moscow in the quarter-finals of the Europa League on Thursday and will be relying on Lacazette to provide the goals in the absence of cup-tied Aubameyang.