Arsenal failed to impress against Cardiff City, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette goals were enough in a 2-1 win.
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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette were on target as an unconvincing Arsenal beat Cardiff City 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium, bouncing back from defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup.
Unai Emery’s men failed to impress despite largely controlling proceedings, though they benefited from Bruno Ecuele Manga’s haplessness at the back for Aubameyang’s penalty, and Lacazette put the game beyond Cardiff before Nathaniel Mendez-Laing’s stoppage-time consolation.
After pre-match tributes to Cardiff’s missing striker Emiliano Sala, the visitors gave a good account of themselves in a first half of few chances, looking just as lively as their hosts, though they were perhaps fortunate Ecuele Manga did not concede a spot-kick shortly before the interval.
The Gabonese defender failed to learn his lesson, however, finding himself penalised in the second period and his compatriot Aubameyang converted, before Lacazette put the result beyond doubt with a fine effort of his own.
Arsenal XI: M. Özil, S. Lichtsteiner, Nacho Monreal, Aubameyang, Lacazette, Mustafi, Bernd Leno, M.Elneny, Kolasinac, L. Torreira, M. Guendouzi
Subs: P. Čech, Ramsey, G. Xhaka, Carl Jenkinson, A. Iwobi, K. Mavropanos, Nketiah
Cardiff City XI: L. Peltier, A. Gunnarsson, B. Écuélé Manga, S. Bamba, Arter, J. Bennett, N. Etheridge, B. Reid, J. Ralls, O. Niasse, C. Paterson
Subs: J. Hoilett, A. Smithies, N. Mendez-Laing, G. Cunningham, K. Harris, Kenneth Zohore, Rhys Healey