Alexandre Lacazette's form has mirrored Arsenal's disappointing season but the forward insists he is now ready to play a full role in the final weeks of a season he hopes can still have a successful ending.
Aaron Ramsey also scored twice to put the London club in a commanding position ahead of the second leg in Moscow in a game played amid a political crisis over the poisoning of a former spy and his daughter last month.
"I'm happy, it's my first game when I start, I feel good on the pitch and I'm happy that I scored", Lacazette, who had minor surgery on his left knee, told reporters. From my side it is clear, but you always have to find an agreement.
"We don't know how bad it is, we have to assess it tomorrow morning".
But he knows making a big impression in his homeland and the city where he played his entire career with Lyon until the past year could make a big difference to his chances of going to Russian Federation. "Danny [Welbeck] is more a guy who goes behind, whereas Lacazette is more combination play, so to have both options is important".
"A few times before the surgery I felt pain and after I decided with the medical staff it was the best solution and now I don't regret it. When you love football, that's what you want to see". "It shows that, even if we are strikers, we can think about everyone in the team and we are not focused only to score goals". It's good to have him back because it gives us different opportunities. "It would maybe be the best day in my life so that is why I want".
The Armenia global moved to the Emirates Stadium in January in a swap deal that saw Alexis Sanchez head the other way.
Lacazette then passed up his hat-trick opportunity as he skewed a shot wide from just a couple of yards out having been picked out by Iwobi, his last chance to earn the match ball before he was replaced by Danny Welbeck.