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Arsenal head coach Unai Emery on Mesut Ozil’s reaction to being substituted: ‘I like players who show character’

PUBLISHED: 16:31 28 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:31 28 October 2018

Arsenal manager Unai Emery inspects the pitch prior to the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, PA

Arsenal manager Unai Emery inspects the pitch prior to the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has been speaking after his side were held 2-2 by Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in a lively London derby on Sunday. Read on for what he had to say.

Arsenal's Alex Iwobi (left) and Matteo Guendouzi (right) battle for the ball with Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha (centre) during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London.Arsenal's Alex Iwobi (left) and Matteo Guendouzi (right) battle for the ball with Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha (centre) during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London.

A penalty on half-time scored by Luka Milivojevic put the Eagles ahead at half-time before another Unai Emery-inspired powerplay turned the match on its head with two goals in a matter of minutes in front of 25,718 fans.

Not for the first time this season an underwhelming first half performance was replaced by a superb exhibition of powerful movement, passing and clinical shooting changed the result.

A sublime Granit Xhaka free-kick levelled six minutes after the break before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored from close range to make it 2-1 five minutes later.

In an entertaining match Palace equalised through a second penalty from the Serbian to level the scores – and deny a 12th consecutive victory for Arsenal.

Arsenal manager Unai Emery inspects the pitch prior to the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, PAArsenal manager Unai Emery inspects the pitch prior to the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, PA

However one of the main talking points was the reaction of captain Mesut Ozil after he was substituted by Emery on 68 minutes for Danny Welbeck who grabbed the winner in Lisbon on Thursday.

Ozil cut a frustrated figure as he departed the field and as he came off the pitch he threw his gloves to the ground in a public show of petulance.

Emry was keen to play the incident down saying: “It’s normal. I like players who show us character when we are not playing well,” before analysing the match adding: “The second half we scored two goals in individual actions. We needed control when they attacked. We needed to score a third goal.

“When you defend a lot in your box it can happen [Palace’s second penalty after Granit Xhaka was deemed to have fouled Wilfried Zaha].

Arsenal's Granit Xhaka (right) in action during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, PAArsenal's Granit Xhaka (right) in action during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, PA

“I respect the referee’s decision.”

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