Emery moves on to next mission after Arsenal earn derby triumph
Unai Emery has called for his Arsenal side to give even more, after they put in a thrilling display to beat Tottenham Hotspur 4-2 in yesterday’s feisty Premier League encounter.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s double and goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Lucas Torreira gave Emery the winning feeling in his first north London derby and further strengthened Arsenal’s top-four credentials.
That does not tell even half of the story as Spurs led 2-1 at the break, thanks to Eric Dier’s goal which sparked a mad touchline melee, and Harry Kane’s penalty, while the visitors’ Jan Vertonghen was sent off in the closing ten minutes at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners made it 19 games unbeaten in all competitions and Emery is now focusing on another testing examination away at Manchester United in midweek.
“Now I am thinking of on Wednesday in Manchester,” he said. “It is a very big victory, we showed our supporters and we gave them the victory because it is a very special match against Tottenham.
“For us it is special also but above all it is three points, like against Bournemouth. We are happy, we are enjoying it, but shocked because Tottenham are on 30 points like us.
“We need to continue our process, creating our way. Today was very big, and for our confidence this was a very good match.”
Mesut Ozil was not included in the match-day squad as he suffered from back spasms, and Emery was not prepared to discuss the matter further.
He was asked whether the German would be fit for the Old Trafford game. He replied: “It’s a good day to speak about the players that played today.”
For Spurs, a good week ended on a low note as they could not follow up wins against Chelsea and Inter Milan, despite their strong finish to the first half.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino was forced to play the role of peacemaker after Dier’s equaliser as his celebration led to a mass brawl, with the Spurs boss sprinting up the touchline to remedy matters.
“Football is about the energy and the emotion and how it changed the emotion in that moment when we scored,” the Argentinian said. “It was try to put calm in our players. At 1-1 it was a massive fight there, I didn’t know what was going on in that moment.
“At the moment I arrived, it was all calm and relaxed. I don’t know what happened, my intention was always to put calm. I don’t know if it was the celebration of Dier what upset people, I didn’t ask. In that moment, the team scored, the energy is on our side and we needed to celebrate the goal and get back.”
Pochettino knew it was tough for his side to recover from a gruelling week after they went 3-2 down in the second half. “Until they scored the third goal I think the game was even, after that we started to pay,” he admitted.
“It was difficult for the team to show the energy that we normally show. That was tough it was mental and physically too, but it was a big hit.”
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates after scoring for Arsenal yesterdaySHAUN BOTTERILL/GETTY IMAGES