Analysing Lucas Perez's hat-trick performance for Arsenal against Basel
Arsenal’s new number nine has spent much of the campaign so far watching on from the sidelines, but Gunners fans finally got a glimpse of the quality player that they thought they had signed in the summer as he showed real poacher’s instincts to pounce and secure a hat-trick to help the club finish top of their Champions League group with a convincing win in Switzerland over FC Basel.
His first showed some superb movement and composure, capitalising on a great Arsenal move which saw him pick up on a cutback from Kieran Gibbs from the byline to stay composed and prod home from only a few yards out and give his side the perfect start up against a team who have previously caused problems for Premier League teams.
Only eight minutes later, virtually exactly the same move gave the Spaniard his second goal of the game. The carbon copy saw Perez pounce after the initial shot was saved, rather than having the ball cut back in his path, but he remained alert to finish.
In the opening minutes of the second half, a poor touch from Alexis Sanchez saw the ball deflect through to Perez whose pace beat the Basel defence and he gambled with his run but won as he capitalised with a cool finish into the far post to put his team out of sight.
That kind of desire and movement is exactly what Arsene Wenger would have been looking for in a side featuring a number of players who have been on the fringes of the first team so far. Perez has failed to justify a place in the first team, with Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud taking priority in the central roles and the likes of Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain preferred out wide, but this was by far his best display in an Arsenal shirt. He may still be yet to score in the Premier League, but with three assists and five goals in five games in the Champions League and EFL Cup, he can only be ignored by Wenger for so long.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by desola Adewle.
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