Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could have had a hat trick, but he wanted to help out Alexandre Lacazette in his return to action for Arsenal.
Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has revealed exactly why he handed over penalty duty to Alexandre Lacazette during the 3-0 win over Stoke on Sunday, despite being on a hat trick, stating he wanted to give his teammate a confidence boost instead.
Aubameyang had already scored twice against the Potters at the Emirates Stadium, but rather than attempt to bag his first treble since a club record move in January, the Gabonese front-man felt it was more important to help his colleague get on the score-sheet after an injury layoff.
Prior to his appearance from the bench on Sunday, Lacazette had missed the previous eight games in all competitions, including the Carabao Cup final and every Europa League knockout game so far, as a result of a knee problem.
He had also only scored once in the Premier League since mid-December in what has been a mixed debut season with the Gunners following a £52m summer move from Lyon.
The 26-year-old was certainly grateful for the generosity of his team-mate, comfortably tucking away the spot-kick to seal the win and get back among the goals.
"I know that Laca is back, and I think I scored twice, so I can let him shoot, it's no matter. I think it's good for his confidence, so that's why," Aubameyang told Sky Sports after the game.
Aubameyang's Premier League tally since arriving from Borussia Dortmund nine weeks ago now stands at five goals in six games. That return is more prolific than Arsenal legend Thierry Henry managed when he first arrived, and is better than Dennis Bergkamp and Robin van Persie.