Arsenal icon and BBC Sport pundit Alex Scott has waxed lyrical about Cedric Soares’ impressive display for the Gunners in Tuesday night’s Premier League win at Southampton.
Mikel Arteta’s charges had an almost immediate opportunity to make amends for their dismal FA Cup fourth-round exit at the hands of the south coast side.
Things didn’t go to plan early on, however, as Stuart Armstrong lashed a half-volley past Bernd Leno from 15 yards out to make it 1-0 to the hosts after just four minutes.
Arsenal were level soon after, with Granit Xhaka setting up Nicolas Pepe for a fine touch and finish inside the area.
The superb Bukayo Saka then put the visitors ahead on 39 minutes, rounding Alex McCarthy to score from Alexandre Lacazette’s threaded ball.
Cedric, playing out of position at left-back in the absence of Kieran Tierney, struggled at the weekend but was much improved on Tuesday night.
He provided a wonderful ball forward in the build up to the third goal, which saw Alexandre Lacazette tap home from close range after more great work from Saka.
Cedric was very effective going forward and looked a real threat, with plenty of attacks coming down the left, and was also defensively very solid.
“He had an excellent game,” Scott said on Match of the Day about the Portugal international.
“54 per cent of the play coming down Arsenal’s left and it all comes down to the quality of Cedric getting on the ball.
“Energy to get forward, the final pass, making things happen. I was so impressed with him.
“He stole the show. Running off the ball to make that pass happen. Wave after wave of attack down the left hand side.”
When news of Tierney’s potential absence broke on Tuesday morning, plenty of Arsenal fans were seriously concerned, given his importance to the team.
However, Cedric put in a superb display at left-back, a reassuring performance that meant Tierney’s absence wasn’t felt too much, whilst also enabling Saka to remain further up.
Arteta should still be on the lookout for an orthodox left-back but, in the meantime, having a fast-improving Cedric in the ranks is great news for the Gunners.