Unai Emery says Arsenal struggled to impose their game in the 1-0 win over Watford even though his side played most of the game against 10 men after Troy Deeney was sent off after just 11 minutes.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had already forced an error from Ben Foster to give the Gunners the lead before the red card, however, despite a numerical advantage they couldn’t kill the game as the FA Cup finalists repeatedly pushed them back.
“We were competitive today but in the circumstances, we can control the match better,” Emery told the BBC.
“We didn’t make it easy to score the second goal. We did not control the ball in the attacking third.
“When it is 1-0 they have chances, their moments. Mostly they attack with set-pieces. This three points is very important in the table.”
While the performance was more artisan than artist, at least the Spaniard saw his players grind out a first clean sheet of the season. He was quick to draw attention to it.
“A clean sheet is very important,” he said. “It is going to give us a lot of information, this match.
“Our analysis will give us confidence. For some players like Konstantinos Mavropanos it is good, to play some minutes and give other players some rest for Thursday.
“It is a different competition, we have a two-goal advantage against Napoli but it is going to be very difficult.”