by Dan Davis (@dan_davis20)
Arsenal manager Unai Emery admitted his side were forced to battle hard for their narrow victory against Cherries on Sunday.
The Spaniard, who took the reins at the Emirates Stadium in the summer, has presided over the Gunners’ impressive unbeaten streak – which extended to 17 games at Vitality Stadium.
An unfortunate own goal from Cherries’ record signing Jefferson Lerma fired the visitors into the lead, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s second half strike cancelled out Josh King’s crashing leveller, and secured Arsenal the three points in the process.
The result moved the Londoners within one point of the Premier League top four, and boss Emery expressed his delight:
“The result is very important, but we spoke in the dressing room at half-time after they’d scored and the process is in our mentality also. The result is very important and we went up 1-0, but they scored so we needed to keep calm and continue our control, which is getting better on the pitch.
“I think we knew this was a difficult stadium and a difficult team, and they were four points behind us, and it was an important game for them to be near us. I am very happy with how the players and fans supported and pushed us today. The control over the 90 minutes with keeping calm in a lot of moments was very important in this victory.”
Emery also confirmed that German superstar Mesut Ozil had been left out his side for tactical reasons.
He said: “We thought how we can be better in the match today which is very demanding with the physicality and the intensity – but every player is important. Also today we tried with three centre backs like we’ve done at some stages this season and it’s another possibility for us to improve and find our best performance.”
When questioned whether Ozil could have been introduced as a substitute, the manager explained: “It depends how it is coming the match, how it is coming in the 90 minutes, and I decided for another option. In the beginning of the season we were speaking every day about being organised and competitive – and it’s the same today.”