Unai Emery was very pleased with Arsenal’s day at the office as Nottingham Forest were crushed 5-0 in the Carabao Cup thanks to goals from youngsters and eye-catching performances from players reuturning from injury.
Gabriel Martinelli’s brilliant header ensured the Gunners had the lead at the break and they eased through the gears in the second period as Rob Holding, making his first start since December, Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson extended the advantage. In the dying moments, Martinelli, with the aid of a slight deflection, rounded things off with a long-range effort.
After three wins on the bounce and with Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin getting vital minutes on their return to full fitness, the boss was full of positivity.
Asked if it was the ‘perfect’ evening, he told his post-game press conference: “Yes, really for different issues.
“One is that the competition is important for us, it’s one title and it’s one opportunity for different players to take confidence, to take minutes and be helping us like tonight.
“And after, because I think the game was for us in 90 minutes very consistent and some different players gave us their performance.
“Also Rob Holding came back after injury and also after injuries, Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin.
“I think this was a good match, a good result, a good game and with a clean sheet there are a lot of positive things. We can be positive with different options for the next matches.”
He added: “We need to improve a lot of things and tonight I think we done a step in the right direction.
“We gave minutes to some players, got a good result and kept a clean sheet. I think they are a very organised team Nottingham Forest, but tonight they played a lot of players who didn’t play in the starting XI.
“We need to create our style, our way and our idea with the confident to achieve the best performance. We need to improve for the next matches, for example against Manchester United.
“It will be very difficult and very tough so we need to achieve the best performance, but with the work tonight of some of our players, they are ready to play more difficult matches. We need to build a competitive team with a strong mentality at home and away.
“We can improve and I am very positive we’re going to do that. Tonight and on Sunday we showed a good character, a good attitude and a good spirit. In Emirates with our supporters we created a good atmosphere.”