BRIGHTON, England (AP) — Alexandre Lacazette came off the bench and scored with his first chance as Arsenal won 1-0 at Brighton on Tuesday to take some pressure off coach Mikel Arteta with a second straight victory.
Lacazette had just come on when Bukayo Saka turned from inside his own half and made a superb run down the right before pulling the ball back to him. Lacazette took one touch to control the ball just inside the penalty area before driving a shot inside the right post in the 66th minute.
“This is what all the managers dream of, to bring people from the bench to win you the game like he’s done,” Arteta said. “It was a great move from Bukayo first to create the action that he did. Apart from the finish, it was his (Lacazette’s) movement, the counter move that he made to create the space for himself. It was a brilliant goal.”
Lacazette scored 29 seconds after entering the field, according to the Premier League.
Arsenal moved up to 13th place and a relieved Arteta hugged his assistants at the final whistle.
“I said this week that winning is the best medicine,” Arteta said. ”For sure this one is going to make us (feel) really good. I think it was a convincing win.”
He can also thank Lacazette.
It was his second straight goal after scoring a penalty in the 3-1 win against Chelsea on Saturday, where defeat may have cost Arteta his job.
Arsenal started sluggishly against Brighton but improved considerably after the break.
“It was a tricky game, very different from the Chelsea game,” Arteta said. ”It took us a while for us to understand how we had to attack this block. But we talked about it, we came out (in the second half) and created four or five big chances straight away, and scored a really good goal.”
Lacazette was replaced as lone striker by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has been short of the form which made him arguably the league’s most dangerous striker last season.
Aubameyang has scored 57 Premier League goals since joining Arsenal nearly three years ago.
He should have had No. 58 when, with his first chance in the 50th minute, he met Saka’s left-wing cross but steered his close-range shot straight at goalkeeper Robert Sanchez.
Moments later, Arsenal’s 19-year-old Brazilian forward Gabriel Martinelli shot narrowly over the crossbar from just inside the penalty area, and then Aubameyang fluffed a counter-attack when he tried a difficult curling shot instead of picking out midfielder Emile Smith Rowe in a better position.
Saka went off late after taking a knock to his ankle, but the injury did not appear serious and he sat in the stands to watch the remainder of the encounter.
Brighton had the better of a drab first half, with Alireza Jahanbakhsh having a shot saved and shooting wide with another chance, with both attempts following crosses from Brazilian Bernardo.
On Saturday, Arsenal travels to play next-to-last West Bromwich Albion, while 17th-place Brighton hosts Wolves.