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Emery pleased with Arsenal character but demands improvement after comeback win over Villa

PUBLISHED: 09:36 23 September 2019 | UPDATED: 09:36 23 September 2019

Arsenal manager Unai Emery shouts from the touchline during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture: Steven Paston/PA

Arsenal manager Unai Emery shouts from the touchline during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture: Steven Paston/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Arsenal boss Unai Emery praised the character shown by his side in their 3-2 comeback win over Aston Villa on Sunday, but also demanded improvement after another shaky defensive display.

John McGinn gave the away side the lead on 20 minutes when he flicked home a cross after being left unmarked in the area, before Ainsley Maitland-Niles was sent off just before half-time for a second bookable offence.

Nicolas Pepe equalised from the spot to score his first Gunners goal on 59 minutes, but Wesley put Villa back in front with a tap in just 120 seconds later.

The 10-men battled back though, with Calum Chambers equalising on 81 minutes before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the winner on 84 minutes with a superb free-kick.

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Emery was pleased with the character his side showed to win the game, but knows that improvement is required.

"Today the character was amazing and really, playing with one less player is not easy," he said.

"We lost a little bit of the control and we won that character with our supporters, we took some risks and we came back.

"Today is two things for me: the first is that character, that connection with the supporters, and after this, how we can improve defensively and throughout the first XI.

"Really we lost more balls than we wanted and this is the one situation we didn't have the control over in the first 30 minutes like we wanted.

"It's one thing for me to improve and to work with the players."

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