Monday, March 11, 2019 8:40 am
Arsenal Manager Unai Emery on Sunday said his team imposed their game plan on English Premier League rivals Manchester United which ensured that the Gunners defeated the Red Devils 2-0 at Emirates Stadium.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suffered his first Premier League defeat since being appointed Manchester United’s interim manager as Arsenal leapfrogged their opponents to move into the top four.
Emery told newsmen in his post-match reaction that it was a well deserved win for his side, adding that they were very competitive throughout the game against the most in-form team of the moment in the league.
“I think today we can be very proud of our players and supporters because I think we had a good atmosphere here which gave the players all they needed to beat the best thing in this moment.
“Manchester are a very good side with great players but today we were very competitive over the 90 minutes, finding our moments and I think we deserve this victory.
“We knew Manchester United were in a good moment and could use different systems and tactics within 90 minutes but we wanted to impose our game plan and I think we did just that,’’ he said.
He heaped praise on Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno who produced two crucial saves to keep out Lukaku and Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka who beat David de Gea with a swerving shot from outside the penalty area.
“We needed our goalkeeper at some crucial moments in the game and he made some very good saves, Also our players with their quality, intensity and support here at home (Emirates Stadium) we pushed and created a lot of chances.
“Overall, we proved that we cannot only create chances but can also put them away. I think we can be very happy today and Xhaka scored a very good goal,’’ he said.
On Arsenal chances of overturning a 3-1 deficit when they entertain Ligue 1 side Rennes in the Europa League last-16 on Thursday, he said he was confident that his team can achieve the feat and progress to the quarter finals of the competition.
“I think we were in a good moment in Rennes but the circumstances which led to the defeat kind of depleted the team’s confidence.
“So, it was important to bounce back and recover from the defeat ahead of the second leg against the French side on Thursday.
“I think a win against a team like United can give us that extra confidence we need for our remaining matches both in the Europa league as well as the premier league.
“Our next game against Rennes will indeed be a very difficult match, of course after the 3-1 defeat, but we are going to prepare and focus solely on the match and I am hopeful that our supporters can come out en masse to support us like they did today,’’ he said.