Arsenal have landed their first away victory of the season in a five-goal-thriller versus Cardiff City, as the Gunners rose to defeat Neil Warnock’s side 3-2 in Cardiff, this afternoon.
A goal apiece saw both sides go into the break locked at 1-1, but the Gunners later pulled in front through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the second half.
The Bluebirds battled to claw a second equaliser through Danny Ward, but it was Alexandre Lacazette who’d have the final say in the 82nd minute, firing the Gunners to a late win.
A return to the starting eleven was on the cards for Mesut Özil, who was followed into Unai Emery’s plans by the introduction of Lacazette, as Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi missed out.
Nervy moments at the back almost allowed Cardiff to find the opener early on, as Harry Arter intercepted Petr Čech’s pass before blazing a good opportunity over in the 7th minute.
Arsenal hit back at the other end, with Aaron Ramsey latching onto Lacazette’s flick to force Neil Etheridge into an uncomfortable save.
A goal came soon after for Emery’s men, as Mustafi edged ahead of his marker to power Granit Xhaka’s corner into the back of the net with his head, giving the Gunners the lead in the 12th minute.
Chaos at the back for the Bluebirds almost allowed Arsenal to grab a second, as Nacho Monreal struggled to overcome Etheridge following Bruno Ecuele-Manga’s gift.
Cardiff’s Danny Ward came inches away from finding an equaliser in the 19th minute, arriving just a fraction too late to Bobby Reid’s low cross, with Junior Hoilett later missing the target from the follow-up.
With half-an-hour of the game gone, Lacazette came close to doubling Arsenal’s lead with a right-footed shot from the edge of the box, hitting the face of the post before the ball was cleared to safety.
The visitors’ lead wouldn’t last until the break, however, as Hoilett intercepted Xhaka’s cross-field pass to send Joe Bennett down the left flank, as Victor Camarasa popped up on the receiving end of the full-back’s cross before thrashing a shot past Čech.
It was through Lacazette that the danger resumed in the second period, with the French striker firing over acrobatically from close range in the 50th minute.
Mustafi was out to repeat the dosage from the first-half, this time sneaking in behind Sol Bamba to head at goal prior to Etheridge’s save in the 53rd minute.
No less than ten minutes later, Arsenal found themselves back in front through Aubameyang, as the Gabonese forward slotted his shot into the bottom-left corner from the edge of the box to get off the mark this season.
Cardiff’s bounce-back trailed the North Londoners’ lead once more, however, as Ward reacted first to a loose ball inside the box by heading an effort in off the inside of the post, with 20 minutes of normal time left on the clock.
But the twists kept coming at the Cardiff City Stadium, with Arsenal reclaiming the lead for a third time through Lacazette in the 82nd minute, rifling his shot past Etheridge from a tight angle.
The danger still lurked in Arsenal’s box, but Sean Morrison rose to head his effort over the bar in Cardiff’s best opportunity to salvage a point, as the Gunners dragged a 3-2 away victory over the line.
By Patrick Ribeiro
Player Ratings: Petr Čech (6) – Héctor Bellerín (6), Shkodran Mustafi (6), Sokratis (6), Nacho Monreal (6) – Mattéo Guendouzi (6), Granit Xhaka (6) – Mesut Özil (7), Aaron Ramsey (7), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (6) – Alexandre Lacazette (8)
Subs: Lucas Torreira (6), Danny Welbeck (-), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (-)