Unai Emery says Arsenal paid the price for not taking their chances as they were beaten 2-0 by Sp*rs in the Carabao Cup.
On a night when the Gunners were far from their best we still managed to manufacture gilt-edged opportunities that were missed either side of the break by Henrikh Mkhitaryan and substitute Alex Lacazette.
To make matters worse, Mauricio Pochettino’s men, who lost at the Emirates earlier this month, were clinical on the break with goals by Son Heung-Min and Deli Alli killing the game inside an hour.
“I think we worked like we wanted to, like we’d prepared for this match,”reflected Emery in his post-game press conference.
“We created chances in the first half to score, but today the efficiency was not good for us.
“We didn’t concede a lot of chances, but they have good players with quality who scored.
“We worked for 90 minutes and in our moments we didn’t take our chances. They scored theirs.
“Only the first half, I think we were good on the pitch but then sometimes we needed a bit more of the ball to keep possession longer.
“But that’s not easy against them because they press really well. Our planned game, we worked on that. It was poor finishing.”
He added: “We had Micki with the one on one [chance early on] and they scored with their first one-on-one. but this is football.
“Today I am happy with our performance, but not happy with our result. But also I think we are doing our process.
“They are ahead of us in this process. We need to continue creating our identity, our strong ideas to be more consistent in the games.
“But this is our way. Now we’ve finished in this competition and are thinking about Saturday because we have another three very important competitions, the first is the Premier League, then the Europa League and also the FA Cup. Today we finished this competition.”
Without a number of defenders, Emery once again had little choice but to utilise midfielder Granit Xhaka in defence. Neither blessed with pace nor someone you’d necessarily pinpoint as a great tackler, he, like the rest of the backline which also featured Ainsley Maitland-Niles at right-back had a tough night.
Despite the result, the boss was pleased with the commitment of his players.
“Every player is helping us with big commitments, playing in different positions, because sometimes the team needs them there.
“Laurent Koscielny played on Sunday and after coming back from his injury, starting against Tottenham would have been a lot of minutes on the pitch.
“Granit is helping and I am happy with him and his performance. His commitment to help us is very important.”
After the game Sp*rs were drawn against Chelsea in the semi-final, while Manchester City, who won the competition last year, were handed a tie with Burton Albion.