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'I can let him shoot... It's good for his confidence'

Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang passed up a hat-trick penalty to boost Alexandre Lacazette’s morale.

Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette.
Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette.

PIERRE EMERICK-AUBAMEYANG passed up the chance to complete his first Arsenal hat-trick against Stoke City by handing over a penalty to Alexandre Lacazette in what he revealed was an attempt to aid the Frenchman’s confidence.

After initially looking as though they were heading towards an underwhelming 0-0 draw, Arsenal eventually stepped things up towards the end at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday and broke the deadlock through Aubameyang in the 75th minute.

The Gabon striker converted a penalty after Mesut Ozil had been tripped by Bruno Martins Indi, before then doubling his tally with a fine volley late on.

Arsenal were awarded a second spot-kick right at the end that would have given Aubameyang the chance to complete his treble, but Lacazette — back following six weeks out — was instead allowed to take it, dispatching the kick to score his first Premier League goal since early December.

And Aubameyang says he did it to give his colleague a boost.

Laca is back, and I know I scored twice so I can let him shoot,” he told Sky Sports. “It’s good for his confidence.”

Aubameyang was sporting a special hairdo on the day, with the word “Marina” shaved into the side of his head.

And explained afterwards that it was a tribute to his grandmother, who passed away recently.

“It is my grandmother’s name,” he said. “She passed away last week so this is my dedication to her.”

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