Unai Emery praised Matteo Guendouzi for the control he exerted on the North London derby as the Frenchman delivered a man of the match performance and made a decisive assist in the 2-2 draw at the Emirates.
Sp*rs took advantage of lax Arsenal defending to establish a two goal advantage, Christian Eriksen netting on 10 minutes and Harry Kane converting a penalty, but the visitors were pegged back by Alex Lacazette’s fine strike in first half stoppage time.
A brilliant pass by Guendouzi then set up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on 71 minutes as the Gunners wrestled control of proceedings, however, despite a frantic finale the home side couldn’t find a winner.
After the game, Emery was asked about Guendouzi’s composure in midfield. “He’s very young but he’s progressing,” said the Spaniard.
“Last year was amazing for his progress, taking confidence, taking rhythm and knowing the Premier League. This year he’s starting to give us one step more tactically with the ball.
“He gives us a lot of control and also the combinations for us mean he’s very important in the team. He’s one of the key players to do that.
“He’s working to get a balance defensively and also working on his body to get stronger in the situations needed in the Premier League. Today was one step more but he’s very demanding of himself and we’re progressing with him.
“When he’s playing like today, I prefer to have the balance. When he’s playing maybe a match with less performance, I want to help him to achieve the next step going ahead.”
A big pat on the back for Guendouzi. Still only 20, he was brilliant today. Here’s hoping he can keep up this level of performance in the coming months.