Emery: Xhaka goal gave us confidence

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Unai Emery says Granit Xhaka’s goal gave Arsenal the confidence they needed to see off Newcastle United following a poor first half performance.

The Swiss curled home a free-kick from 25-yards to break the deadlock on 49 minutes before Mesut Ozil stroked home to double the Gunners lead just before the hour mark.

It took until two minutes from time for Rafael Benitez’s side to muster a shot on target although they did jangle Gunners’ nerves in stoppage time when Ciaron Clark headed home to reduce the deficit.

“In the first half we didn’t control the match like we wanted to,” Emery told his post-game press conference.

“Also, we needed that control to input our ideas. We conceded a lot of chances for transitions and counter-attacks, but not giving away major chances.

“They had a lot of corners and a lot of possibilities to arrive in our box. In the second half, the balance on the pitch was better – our positioning and when we were attacking we didn’t make the transition easy for us.

“I think the key is the first goal. This goal gave us the confidence to continue to improve in the match. We finished the match with the result.”

For the fifth game in a row, Emery picked Matteo Guendouzi ahead of Lucas Torreira, but when the Uruguayan came on at the break his impact was obvious and immediate.

“I want to give every player confidence. I am very happy with Matteo and also very happy with Lucas. Maybe in the second half we needed a little more balance on the pitch with the positioning. Lucas gives us this balance.”

Emery also had warm words for Mesut Ozil who on his 200th appearance for Arsenal bagged what turned out to be the winner.

“For me, every player is the same – I want to give them the confidence and push them.

“Today I’m happy because I want every player to have chances to score.

“Today Mesut scored and I think that’s important. He continued his process on the team, helping with his quality and working every day to continue with the performances we want the team and him to have.”

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Sheffield Goon
Sheffield Goon

Xhaka. Has his good points.

Shwooooooz caprooooooz
Shwooooooz caprooooooz

Great performance from the lads, a tad bit shaky at the back and the midfield seems to lack a bit of balance with Matteo, Xhaka, Ramsey and Özil, but considering how much is changing both on and off the pitch, it’s to be expected. I hope that we slowly build up some momentum in the next couple of games that will help to build up some confidence.. #COYG..

afan
afan

GREAT PERFORMANCE???, what game was you watching, it couldn,t have been arsenal that’s for sure, because we struggled at newcastle

A Different George
A Different George

Once more, the troll speaks. What club do you actually support? Or are you a universal troll–your hatred of all humanity expressed on-line.

Merteslacker
Merteslacker

It’s pretty clear Unai cannot keep ignoring the Terrier when he keeps coming on and makes the impact like he does. A today was probably more precautionary for his injury and the long travel time back from S.America.

He’s favorite to start the next match for sure

Charles
Charles

Perhaps.., but I also thought of the possibility that he prefers Matteo to haggle and run down the attackers with his energetic runs in the first half and then introduce Terrier to coolly take command and dictate the pace of the game in the second half when their legs might have started to be a bit heavy and tired. Whatever the case, He has his reasons and as fans we need to respect that for now and support him and the team. They are starting to put up a fight with spines (unlike previously).

Mootilated
Mootilated

That’s fine when you’re playing teams like Newcastle and Cardiff. Not so much when you’re facing Manchester City or Chelsea. Guendouzi’s positioning is still off. He also makes way too many safe passes. This will be easily exposed by the top sides.

afan
afan

how come we never had confidence in the first place