Third spot pressure the cause of subdued Arsenal second-half performance
Arsenal now sits third in the Premier League after beating Bournemouth 1-0 in a nervy affair at the Emirates this afternoon.
A ninth-minute header from David Luiz secured all three points in a game of very few chances. Neither team excelled and according to Unai Emery pressure may have got to the Arsenal players on occasions.
Speaking to the press after the game, when asked if being third in the table is a fair reflection, Emery said
“That was our objective today. We knew if we won, we’d go third.
For our confidence and our way, it was important, but not feeling the pressure of that. Maybe in the second half, we were winning 1-0, maybe in some moments we felt that pressure.
But for me, it’s one step more, above all for the young players and for us.
It’s our objective and we didn’t fear that moment, when the opposition was pushing us. Really, I think the second half, we can analyse, we can improve, and we will do – but in 90 minutes I think we deserved to win.”
If that is true then it is a good thing that it happened and that the players handled the stresses of the game. Arsenal may be making life hard for themselves but they are winning and sit just one point behind Man City.
Maintaining third comes with a lot of pressure and the more the players are exposed to it, the better. They need to avoid another end of season collapse and managing pressure will be a crucial factor.