Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette paid tribute to teammate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on Tuesday, after the Gabonese captain was missing in action due to “personal family reasons”.
Lacazette put up the number 14 with his gloved hands after scoring Arsenal’s third and final goal of the night, sealing a 3-1 away win against Southampton in the Premier League.
The celebration from the French goalscorer was a nod to Auba’s shirt number.
Nicolas Pepe also dedicated his goal to Aubameyang that evening, captioning an Instagram image in French: "For you my brother." Auba responded: "Merci mon frere." ("Thank you my friend.")
Lacazette and Aubameyang have a close friendship and are known for their partnership on the pitch, often celebrating together by taking a bow and shaking hands.
Lacazette confirmed that his Tuesday night celebration was meant for Aubameyang, by tagging him in an image on his Instagram and captioning it with the number fourteen and a heart. David Luiz also posted an image of Lacazette's celebration, writing: "All for u bro @auba!!! We love you!!!"
It’s unclear why Aubameyang had to excuse himself from the game, but coach Mikel Arteta also offered words of support to his star player.
“He’s having a difficult time. This win is for him,” said Arteta. Asked when Auba might return, Arteta responded: “I don’t know. He needs to address that issue, we’ll see how it evolves.”