Arsenal manager Unai Emery has revealed that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the designated penalty taker for the recent Premier League clash against Aston Villa and he took the risk of handing Nicolas Pepe with the spotkick. The Gabon international has been a revelation for the Gunners since his arrival from Borussia Dortmund, and he recently scored his seventh goal of the season as the north London side sealed a stunning 3-2 comeback win over the Villains.
Speaking after the game, Emery was asked whether Aubameyang was the first-choice penalty taker in the club’s ranks and he replied in the affirmative. He added that Aubameyang took the risk of offering the penalty to Pepe to boost the Ivorian’s confidence and he is happy that the decision paid off for the Gunners on the day.
He told: “Yes, it’s Aubameyang who is responsible for penalties. Also Lacazette, and today for me is a very big decision from Aubameyang to let Pepe shoot to give him confidence and the possibility to score. Really, the responsibility is Aubameyang and I was happy when I saw that decision from Aubameyang. He is hungry every day to score, to achieve, individual and collective objectives. Today that decision shows a really great player.”
The Gunners were expected to register a comfortable victory over the Villains but that was simply not the case. Villa opened the scoring through John McGinn at the midway stage of the first period and soon the Gunners suffered another setback with Ainsley Maitland-Niles sent off for a second yellow card offence before the break.
Despite this, the Capital outfit came up with a strong response after the interval and they managed to find the winner through Aubameyang’s sublime freekick after equalising on two separate occasions. With the 3-2 triumph, the Gunners have moved to fourth on the league table. They are scheduled to face Manchester United on the road during their next league encounter.