Arsene Wenger Confirms Alexandre Lacazette to Miss Arsenal vs. Manchester United

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2017

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29: Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Huddersfield Town at Emirates Stadium on November 28, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Alexandre Lacazette will not be available for Arsenal's clash with Manchester United on Saturday after suffering a groin injury in Wednesday's 5-0 defeat of Huddersfield Town, manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed. 

The striker was withdrawn at half-time in the match after opening the scoring, and Wenger gave an update on his fitness in a press conference after the game, as relayed by the club's official website:

"Lacazette has a groin problem and will certainly be out for Saturday's game."

The Frenchman's goal was his seventh in 14 Premier League games since he arrived at Arsenal in the summer.

A strong start to the second half saw Huddersfield come close to equalising through Steve Mounie, but the Gunners quickly killed off the game thanks to some sublime play from Mesut Ozil.

Arsenal's German midfielder Mesut Ozil celebrates scoring their fourth goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Huddersfield Town at the Emirates Stadium in London on November 29, 2017.  / AFP PHOTO / Ben STANSALL / RESTRI
BEN STANSALL/Getty Images

He set up Olivier Giroud for Arsenal's second after a lovely one-two with Alexis Sanchez and then assisted the Chilean a minute later with a cross for the forward to volley home. Ozil found the net himself shortly after, before Giroud rounded out the victory with another goal.

The Independent's Jack Pitt-Brooke and Bleacher Report's James McNicholas praised the playmaker:

Wenger also hailed Ozil's contributions. Per Nick Purewal of the Press Association (h/t MailOnline), he said:

"Nobody has to convince us he's a great football player. Everybody knows in the stadium he's a great football player, but at the moment as well he shows he can fight.

"Our job is to encourage people to fight, but I think he always covered the distances in games, but he's at an age where he's more mature and understands what is more important and what is less important.

"Everybody wants to be acknowledged for his quality, and the judgements are sometimes harsh in a footballer's job."

Wenger added his belief that "the majority of people here love him," and said "he always wants the ball, he never hides, he's always available."

Goal's Chris Wheatley shared some of the German's numbers from the match:

Ozil also put in a strong performance against Tottenham Hotspur in the north London derby on November 18, and the Gunners are now back in the top four ahead of their bitter rivals.

They face a fight to stay there for the rest of the season, though, and a tough test awaits them on Saturday against United, where they will have to cope without Lacazette.

It will be a challenge not only for Arsenal but also for Ozil. If he can replicate the performance he put in against Huddersfield, it will help dispel his reputation for failing to produce in big games, but an anonymous showing on the back of the outing he has just had will do him no favours in that regard.

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