Arsenal boss Unai Emery hails Lucas Torreira and Mesut Ozil after his side’s 2-1 victory over Newcastle
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Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has been analysing his side’s performance after their 2-1 victory over Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Saturday.
Unai Emery’s Arsenal side beat Newcastle United 2-1 at St James’ Park to claim their third win in a row, and second successive victory on the road.
After a goalless first half Granit Xhaka scored directly from a free-kick to put the Gunners 1-0 ahead four minutes after the break.
The lead was doubled when Mesut Ozil calmly slotted home ten minutes later as the visitors held on despite an injury time goal by replacement Ciaran Clark – to send the 3,000 vociferous away fans who made the long trip north happy in a crowd of 52,165.
Arsenal were unchanged in the North East following their 3-2 victory on the road at Cardiff City last time out with Lucas Torreira on the bench again along with ‘sweeper keeper’ Bernd Leno.
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The mercurial Ozil started his first match at St James’ in any competition with the words of his boss Emery ringing in his ears after he asked the creative playmaker to give more in terms of his performances.
Responding to a question from the Islington Gazette about his views on the German’s performance, Emery replied: “Every player is the same.
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“Today I am happy because I want every player to have chances to score and Mesut scored which is important.
“He continues his process on the team, helping with his quality and working every day to continue with the performance we want.”
On Ozil not playing for Germany benefitting Arsenal he added: “It’s a new way for him. We want his performance in each training day and in each match to give us his quality.
“I want also his best performance for us and today first of all, he worked well and then also he did a good match.”
With goalkeeper Petr Cech again struggling when attempting to play the ball out from defence, the Gazette asked the former PSG boss if would be rotating the side, specifically by blooding ‘sweeper keeper’ Bernd Leno in the Europa League tie against FC Vorskla at the Emirates on Thursday.
Emery, who landed three consecutive trophies in the competition when Sevilla boss answered: “Yes, normally we are going to change and use a lot of players for different competitions.
“But I am only thinking about the best performance for Thursday. Every competition for me I have respect for and want to do the best for.
“Normally I will use a different keeper for this competition, but I’m thinking about the best performance.”
The second period started with Lucas Torreira replacing the hard-working but raw Guendouzi.
Four minutes later he shaped to take a free-kick outside the box before midfield partner Xhaka fired the ball into the top left corner, evading Dubravka’s desperate dive in the process.
Ten minutes later Ozil doubled the lead by calmly slotting home after a spell of prolonged pressure in and around the box as Emery’s side took charge.
Assessing the former Sampdoria player’s performance and the team overall Emery said: “I want to give every player confidence. I am very happy with Matteo and with Lucas.
“Maybe the second half we needed a bit more balance in the situation with our positioning on the pitch, Lucas gave us this balance.
“The first half we couldn’t control the match like we wanted. We needed this control to impose our ideas.
“But we conceded a lot of chances for transition for the counter attack. We didn’t concede a lot o chances, but we gave away a lot of corners, a lot of opportunities for them to arrive into our box.
“The second half, the balance on the pitch was better, our positioning when we were attacking. We didn’t concede the transition as easy.
“The key was the first goal, this goal gave us the confidence to improve on the match and to impose our ideas, our game. The second goal finished the match and the result.”
Emery also dismissed any issue with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the striker appeared to show frustration at being substituted for Henrikh Mkhitaryan late on adding: “It’s normal, I want the players I change or don’t start in the first XI to be angry, they have ambition to play and help the team ad stay on the pitch.
“For me it’s a normal situation.”