Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang passed on Arsenal’s penalty responsibility on Sunday to allow Nicolas Pepe a goal and confidence, according to Unai Emery.
The Gunners were made to work for their 3-2 win over Aston Villa at the Emirates, twice coming from behind before finally beating Dean Smith’s men with an 84th-minute winner from Aubameyang.
Selfless Auba: Five things to know…
- Aubameyang shared the Premier League Golden Boot with Mane and Salah last term.
- He already has seven goals in seven games across all competitions this season.
- But he passed a first-half penalty on to Pepe against Aston Villa on Sunday.
- Emery says it was to allow Pepe his first Arsenal goal and shows what a “great player” Aubameyang is.
- Aubameyang has scored five out of seven Premier League penalties since joining Arsenal.
The ex-Dortmund man could have had another goal but decided to pass on his 59th-minute spot-kick to Pepe instead, allowing the Ivorian his first goal in an Arsenal shirt.
And Emery has revealed he allows Aubameyang and, when fit, Alexandre Lacazette to take control on penalty situations, claiming this selfless attitude from his striker is the sign of a “great player”.
“Yes, it’s Aubameyang who is responsible for penalties,” Emery told reporters after Sunday’s game.
“Also Lacazette, and today for me is a very big decision from Aubameyang to let Pepe shoot to give him confidence and the possibility to score.
“Really, the responsibility is Aubameyang and I was happy when I saw that decision from Aubameyang.
“He is hungry every day to score, to achieve, individual and collective objectives. Today that decision shows a really great player.”
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Arsenal’s dramatic win lifts them to joint-third in the Premier League table, just two points behind second-placed Manchester City.
The Gunners take on Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday before a crunch match with Manchester United next Monday.