Arsenal happily kept another clean sheet and gained another win against Southampton, but there is no doubt that our defence had some hairy moments and Bernd Leno had to make full use of his powers to keep us in the game at certain points. Unai Emery admitted that the Saints had made it hard for us quite a few times. “Yes, they have players in attacking moments who are very fast like Redmond. In the first action they get at our space in defensive and created some good chances, but you need your goalkeeper for good saves sometimes and I think today Leno played very well and helped us a lot.”
The boss started with four at the back, and this left us a bit more exposed when our wing backs went bombing up field, but Emery explained that he changes our formation depending on how our opponents are set up. “After we can play with different systems and different players, it depends. Sometimes you want to attack a lot with our left and right back, but maybe it’s better to play with three centre backs to protect his backline, like sometimes with Kolasinac. It depends on if they’re playing with one attacking player or two and the situation tactically in each match. After today I think Licht played his best first half in the season – and Kolasinac also was keeping his consistency up. He played well today and played well offensively and defensively.”
So although our defence looked a bit scary at times, Emery thinks it was the right decision to go with an attacking line-up, and thinks we should have been a lot further ahead. “We created chances and I think today we could have won by more than two goals. I think we need to continue with this spirit to play with this intensity and to keep it up for 90 minutes. We need to create chances and goals are coming. We deserved to score more. Auba had two chances also when he was on the pitch and I think this is the way. My problem is when we cannot create changes, but today this wasn’t the issue. Also we conceded two good chances to them, but I also think Bernd played very well and helped us a lot.”
So we got it right yesterday, and we won comfortably in the end, although it could have been more convincing, but surely we all have to admit we are going in the right direction?
On to Bournemouth on Wednesday! COYG!