Unai Emery says his players had prepared for a physical afternoon against Burnley as Arsenal got back to winning ways with a 3-1 victory at the Emirates.
A clinical brace from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang set up the victory although it wasn’t until Alex Iwobi’s stoppage time third that the Gunners were able to relax.
Having lost their unbeaten run last weekend, the home side had a wobble after Ashley Barnes reduced the deficit but did just enough to secure the points.
“We expected that [a physical battle],” Emery told Sky Sports.
“We prepared the match for their moments with long balls, second action pushing, they have also players with quality but we wanted to win the first balls with the duels.
“They have attacking players who created problems for us in the match. Then we needed to impose our planned game, but we couldn’t do it for the 90 minutes, but we worked very well today.
“It was a tough match, like we were expecting. We’re really happy for the victory.
Physically, that’s football. You need to be strong and we can do that. All the big teams need to impose with quality, with physicality and also with the duels. Today, I think we can impose in our moment the planned game and the victory is a consequence of this.
Sean Dyche in his post-game comments accused Arsenal’s players of diving to win free-kicks at key moments of the game. Emery, naturally, jumped to the defence of his men.
“I am not agreeing with him [Dyche]. I am for the first time in the Premier League and we need respect for the referee.”
The boss also reserved a word for Mesut Ozil, who played a vital role in both the first and last goals.
“Ozil played very well, we want a Mesut like today,” he said.
“Today we won, tomorrow we have off then we will prepare for the next game against Brighton.”