Welbeck makes case for Premier League start after brace against Brentford

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Danny Welbeck’s Carabao Cup brace against Brentford could be enough to earn him a first Premier League start of the season for Arsenal, according to head coach Unai Emery.

The England forward has played a fringe role in the league so far this year but played the entirety of the 3-1 victory over the Bees, as well as last week’s Europa League win against Vorskla Poltava.

After heading the Gunners in front on four minutes, Welbeck rounded off a fine team move for the second before the interval.

A fine Alan Judge free-kick halved the arrears but, despite Brentford outplaying their hosts for much of the second half, substitute Alexandre Lacazette wrapped up the win in stoppage time.

With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Lacazette forming a budding relationship Emery is likely to keep the pair in the side for Saturday’s visit of Watford – but the Spaniard insists Welbeck has thrown his hat into the ring.

“I am very happy individually with the player,” Emery said after the game.

“He gave us his quality and also his commitment every day. Danny Welbeck is working with this commitment and when he is playing also with a performance like today, and I think he’s helping the team and we want this.

“Also, it gives more chances for us to find (him) the first XI for the next match with performances like today. I am very happy with Danny Welbeck.”

For Brentford, they return to their Sky Bet Championship promotion bid with manager Dean Smith making seven changes.

Arsenal v Brentford – Carabao Cup – Third Round – Emirates Stadium
Brentford’s Alan Judge celebrates pulling a goal back (Nick Potts/PA)

“We restricted them to a few chances, but never played at the intensity I really wanted in the first half. I said to the players at half time: ‘We can either sit behind the ball and let Arsenal have it and take 2-0, or go and ask a question.’

“And the players went and asked a question in the second half. We forced a very good team into mistakes and almost took them to penalties at the end.”

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