Football news - Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette edge Arsenal to win over Cardiff
Premier League, Emirates Stadium: Arsenal 2 (Aubameyang 66, Lacazette 83) Cardiff 1 (Mendez-Laing 90)
The Bluebirds had made all the chances in the first half, with Bobby Reid and Oumar Niasse both testing the hosts' defence.
The Gunners were booed off by their own fans at the interval after a lacklustre opening 45 minutes, and they did return after the break with a bit more spirit.
Arsenal's Spanish head coach Unai Emery gestures from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Cardiff City at the Emirates Stadium in London on January 29, 2019.Getty Images
But it took a spot-kick to open the scoring after Bruno Ecuele Manga upended Sead Kolasinac, and Aubemeyang converted.
Lacazette doubled the advantage seven minutes from time with an individual effort, cutting in from the right flank, but Cardiff substitute Nathaniel Mendez-Laing made it a tricky last few minutes when he clawed a goal back in additional time.
What is going to happen with Mesut Ozil? This scrappy battle was never the kind of encounter he'd relish, but maybe the idea was that the armband would bring him to the fore. It did not, really, and with the rest of his team struggling to rise to the occasion in the first half he could not lead by example.
Mesut Ozil of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Cardiff City at Emirates Stadium on January 29, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.Getty Images
MAN OF THE MATCH
Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal). Worked hard all evening, creating chances from nothing, and never giving up.
Matteo Guendouzi of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Cardiff City at Emirates Stadium on January 29, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.Getty Images
ARSENAL: Leno 7, Lichtsteiner 7, Mustafi 7, Monreal 6, Kolasinac 7, Elneny 6, Guendouzi 7, Torreira 6, Ozil 6, Aubameyang 6, Lacazette 6. Subs: Cech, Jenkinson 6, Mavropanos, Xhaka, Ramsey 6, Iwobi 6, Nketiah.
CARDIFF: Etheridge 7, Peltier 6, Ecuele Manga 6, Bamba 6, Bennett 6, Arter 6, Gunnarsson 6, Ralls 6, Paterson 6, Reid 7, Niasse 7. Subs: Smithies, Zohore 6, Cunningham, Mendez-Laing 6, Harris 6, Healey, Hoilett.
2' CHANCE! Lacazette is lurking at the far post as Guendouzi sends in a lovely ball past the despairing hands of Etheridge, but his first touch isn't good enough.
65' PENALTY! Manga trips Kolasinac. Arsenal have called for a lot of penalties this evening. That was definitely the right call.
66' GOAL! Aubameyang sends Etheridge the wrong way from the spot.
Arsenal's Swiss defender Stephan Lichtsteiner (R) gestures to the assistant referee during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Cardiff City at the Emirates Stadium in London on January 29, 2019Getty Images
83' GOAL! Lacazette finally scores. He goes on a run down the right, cutting in past Bamba, and sending a bobbling shot past Etheridge.
90'+4 GOAL! Great left-footed finish from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, on the edge of the area and struck sweetly home.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has now scored five goals in the Premier League against the newly-promoted sides this season; more than any other player.