Alexandre Lacazette may have saved Arsenal a point with his cameo on Monday night, but honestly it was still difficult to see how the Frenchman would get in the team for Villa.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has found his goal scoring touch again through the middle and unless the Gabon international was moved out wide it seemed there would be no room for his good friend.
However, that was all on the assumption that Mikel Arteta wouldn’t completely flip the script on us and go for a 4-4-2 set up that we have never seen during his time at the Emirates.
In fairness that’s not 100% true.
To call what Arsenal played yesterday a 4-4-2 would be slightly misleading as Lacazette spent much of his time dropping into the 10 position in something more akin to the 4-2-3-1 we’ve seen more regularly.
But the sort of nine and a half role adopted by the Frenchman was a refreshing piece of tactical innovation that seemed to really benefit the rest of the Gunners side.
Key to it was another sublime display from Lacazette who looks as though he’s had a fire lit beneath him this season.
The 30-year-old may not have been wearing the captain’s armband, but he was the de facto leader on the pitch, first to every ball, cajoling his teammates throughout, constantly being in Craig Pawson’s ear and standing up to Emi Martinez as the Argentinian tried his usual mind game tricks before Aubameyang’s penalty.