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Alex Lacazette’s UEFA suspension reduced

Guess who gets to play Thursday?

Arsenal FC v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

In the first leg of Arsenal’s Europa League round of 32 tie against Bate Borisov, a frustrated Alex Lacazette elbowed a Borisov player with five minutes to go in a frustrating match that Arsenal would lose 1-0, and in which Lacazette scored a goal that was ruled offside. So, while it was a dumb thing to do, it’s kind of understandable that he would have done such a thing, even if it resulted in a straight red and three-match ban.

UEFA today announced that Arsenal’s appeal of Lacazette’s ban has been “partially upheld”, essentially calling the two games he’s already served good enough, and clearing him to play on Thursday.

This is pretty great news - Arsenal have a whole lot of work to do Thursday against Rennes, and they’ll need all hands on deck if they want to overhaul the 3-1 hole they dug themselves last week. Lacazette alone won’t make all the difference, but Arsenal are a better side when he’s in it, so this is at least a sliver of good news as we head towards Thursday at the Emirates.