Lacazette’s goals were his 12th and 13th in the Premier League that season and fourth and fifth in his last six games
Gabriel Martinelli scored on his first start since January when Arsenal ended four games without a win with a win over the bottom club of the Premier League, Sheffield United.
The Brazilian has had an injury-ridden season but was on hand to score his side’s second goal after Aaron Ramsdale blocked Nicolas Pepe’s shot.
It was the 19-year-old’s first goal since January 2020.
It came between two Alexandre Lacazette goals – the first was a decent first-half result after Dani Ceballos’ deficit and the second a clinical performance in the closing stages after clarified by Thomas Partey.
Sheffield United have only won four games this season, and none since Paul Heckingbottom took charge of the caretaker a month ago, and they have had little response to their opponents’ increased efficiency.
At 1-0 there was always a chance that generous Arsenal side could turn the Blades back, but Martinelli’s goal put an end to those home hopes and Lacazette made the final victory.
The win – complete with a first goal in 15 games – lifts Arsenal to ninth place in the table with 45 points over Leeds and Aston Villa.
Bukayo Saka hobbled away in the second half with a hamstring injury, making him a possible doubt for the second leg of the last eight Europa League games against Slavia Prague on Thursday.
Sheffield United remain rooted to the ground, 18 points from safety, only 21 left to play. With their sad goal difference, a defeat at Wolves next Saturday will almost confirm the relegation.
Morale boosting win for Arsenal ahead of the big European game
Sheff Utd 0-3 Arsenal: Arteta praises Gunners’ “really strong performance”
Arsenal suffered a chaste 3-0 defeat to Liverpool in the Premier League for eight days ahead of this game before playing the quarter-finals of the Europa League home game against Slavia Prague.
Their hopes of reaching a place in the Champions League via a top 4 result are long gone. Success in the European second competition is the last remaining way back to its more lucrative big brother.
So in this game it was also about getting Slavia’s late equalizer at the Emirates out of the system with a more relaxed, confidence-building win.
It took them some time to prepare for the task, but ultimately they found their move when Lacazette kicked off at a time when Aaron Ramsdale was being tested and the side net was being tested.
Fortunately, Martinelli, who only started his sixth game of an injury-ridden season, was at the center of much of his attack threat.
If he can stay fit for the rest of the campaign, his superb control, direct run and eagerness to test an opposing goalkeeper could make a huge difference for a season that is currently balanced between success and disaster.
His return as a partner for the formally strong Lacazette, who have scored five goals in their last six games, is on time in the absence of Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang.
Worrying, however, is that Saka will be prematurely eliminated from the game and the talented young winger hobbled away after a challenge with Rhian Brewster.
The verdict on the blade season is already more or less set in stone.
They fleetingly offered the threat of doing something that worried the Gunners, but ended up with only idiosyncratic efforts by David McGoldrick and Brewster to really show themselves for their efforts.
After 31 games that highlighted the majority of their squad not being equipped for the Premier League, the next seven are helping them decide which players to include in the championship next season.
“Ideal preparation for Prague”
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta on BT Sport: “I’m very happy with the way we played, we scored some really nice goals and played the game the way we wanted it. We played at a high level. From the start I had the feeling that the guys were there, we were efficient.”
“Bukayo Saka, the last thing we need is another injury, but he felt something in his thigh.
“Gabriel Martinelli twisted his ankle but he’s a tough boy. Against Prague Lacazette missed two big chances and he needed those goals. He played well.
“This is the ideal preparation for Thursday. It has been clean for a long time.”
Sheff Utd 0-3 Arsenal: Sheffield had no control over the “disappointing” defeat – Heckingbottom
Paul Heckingbottom, interim boss of Sheffield United, at BBC Sport: “We had no control without the ball in the first half, so we had to make changes.
“We’ll keep fighting and putting pressure on to make sure we get more points before the end of the season.
“We have a diverse group, some boys who have just started their journey and some older players who have traveled with this club over the past five years.
“You have to learn from the difficult moments and come back stronger.”
Arsenal punished the bottom again
- In Premier League history, only Chelsea (42) have beaten the team more than Arsenal at the bottom of the table. With this victory, the Gunners have achieved the 37th victory of its kind (alongside Spurs).
- Sheffield United have suffered their 25th league loss of the season, most from an unsupported team since Huddersfield in 2018-19 (28). In fact, each of the previous 12 Premier League teams that lost more than 25 games in a season have been relegated, with 10 of them bottoming out.
- Arsenal won their first Premier League victory in Bramall Lane on the fifth attempt (D2 L2), their first league victory since April 1991.
- Arsenal are unbeaten in the last four away games in the Premier League (W2 D2), the longest run of the season. Indeed, this season the Gunners have scored more victories on the road (7) than in the Emirates (6).
- Arsenal have won 66.6% of their six Premier League games without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (W4 D1 L1) this season, compared to 36% of the players on the team (9/25).
- Paul Heckingbottom saw his team from Sheffield United concede ten goals in their three responsible games in the Premier League, the most common after a manager’s first three games in the competition, alongside David Moyes (2002, Everton) and Christian Gross (1997, Spurs). .
- Alexandre Lacazette has scored 13 Premier League goals this season, 10 of which have come away from home – only Mohamed Salah (11) has scored more on the road this season.
- Lacazette is the sixth Frenchman to score 50 Premier League goals for a single club, four of them for Arsenal (including Thierry Henry, Olivier Giroud and Robert Pires).
Arsenal face Slavia Prague on Thursday (8:00 p.m. CET) in this important Europa League second leg, while Sheffield United are next in action on Saturday in a league game at Wolves (3:00 p.m.).
- 22ndAmpaduBooked at 90 minutes
- 14thBurkeReplaced byBrewsterat the 64 ‘protocol
- 17thMcGoldrickReplaced byMcBurnieat the 64 ‘protocolReplaced byMoussetat the 83 ‘protocol
- 22ndMaríBooked at 80 minutes
- 7thSaysReplaced byWillianat the 69 ‘protocol
- 35MartinelliReplaced byElnenyat the 83 ‘protocol
- 9LacazetteReplaced byNketiahat the 89 ‘protocol
- 17thCédric Soares
End of game, Sheffield United 0, Arsenal 3.
The second half ends, Sheffield United 0, Arsenal 3.
Ethan Ampadu (Sheffield United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Ethan Ampadu (Sheffield United).
Foul by Rob Holding (Arsenal).
Lys Mousset (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal).
Enda Stevens (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Arsenal. Eddie Nketiah replaces Alexandre Lacazette.
Missed attempt. Lys Mousset (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the center of the box misses to the right. Prepared by Enda Stevens.
Goal! Sheffield United 0, Arsenal 3. Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) right footed shot from the center of the box to the lower left corner. Assisted by Thomas Partey with a through pass.
Substitution, Arsenal. Mohamed Elneny replaces Gabriel Martinelli.
Substitution, Sheffield United. Lys Mousset is replacing Oliver McBurnie with an injury.
Pablo Marí (Arsenal) receives a yellow card for a bad foul.
Offside, Sheffield United. Ben Osborn tries a through ball, but George Baldock is caught offside.
Attempt blocked. Rhian Brewster (Sheffield United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Prepared by John Fleck.
Attempt blocked. Willian (Arsenal) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is blocked.
Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Ethan Ampadu (Sheffield United).