Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was reflective and emotional after his first Premier League hat trick drove Arsenal’s 4-2 defeat of Leeds United on Sunday.
The win nearly doubled his season output of five goals, and his eight on the season looks a bit more like the Aubameyang we’ve come to love.
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And importantly, Aubameyang is able to smile a bit after a tough season on-and-off-the-field as he recently took time away from Arsenal to care for his ailing mother, missing two games.
“I’m a guy who always works hard who tries to give his best for first my family and the team as well,” he said. “It’s been a tough time for me but now it’s time to get my smile back, score goals, and win games.”
He was then asked specifically about the love shown to him and his family when news broke of his mother’s illness.
Aubamayeng understandably choked up a bit.
“From everybody around the club, everybody was giving a lot of love to me, my mom, and my family. I’m really proud to be part of this family and that’s it — I have to say thank you to everyone at the club and the fans as well. I’m really happy for today: wins and goals.”
Arsenal is now six points back of the top four, just behind rivals Tottenham ahead of matches.
Their next five weeks will decide their season, beginning with a tricky away first leg at Benfica on Thursday in the Europa League Round of 32.
🗣"I try to give the best always, it has been a tough time for me, but now it is time to get the smile back and score"
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 14, 2021