Arsenal travelled to Portugal to play Victoria in the second leg of our Europa League group stage tie. The match ended 1-1 in yet again an uninspiring display from the Gunners. Arsenal played the whole of the first half with a shot on target, but took the lead through a Mustafi header from a Pepe freekick. With few minutes to play, Arsenal couldn’t hold on to the lead as the hosts’ equalized via a acrobatic shot.
Unai Emery reacted to match as he addressed the press.
He said, “In this competition, our objective is to be first in the group and we have 10 points and we are first. We are going to play the next two matches to make sure of that position, and now we are going to prepare for Leicester on Saturday. It’s a new competition and it is very important.
“But the analysis from this match, I think we worked hard and fought against a team who were very strong defensively, and very organised. They played against us with 100 per cent motivation and also with their supporters.
“A little disappointed for the result because we wanted to win, but we are first in the group and we want to make sure of that position in the next matches”.
on conceding a late goal…
Our objective this evening was also to keep a clean sheet because we need to improve defensively and be strong in that moment,. We are using each match to achieve that. We didn’t do that this evening against Vitoria, but we are going to take that challenge against Leicester. In this competition we are taking good results, scoring a lot of goals and not conceding a lot of goals. We use each match to improve and achieve points in each competition. We finished the match with only one point, but we’ve continued first in the group, and now we need to prepare for the match on Saturday. It’s going to be different and it’s a different competition. The same objective to win, but above all, to improve defensively and continue being strong. Offensively, to also have tactical situations that allow us to achieve chances.
on only having one shot on target…
They are very defensive with a big defensive structure. It is not easy because they were defending very deep and together, and to find and create small spaces was not easy against this team. We want to improve and also to continue in our way, how we can prepare the next match to be strong defensively and also create chances, and get that balance to win the next matches. Today, our objective was to continue to be top the group. A little disappointed not to win, but that point means we are still top of the group.
Dani Ceballos was taken off for Matteo Guendozi due to an injury scare, but the manager says it will be assessed although it’s nothing serious.
“Yes, we are going to wait for the analysis tomorrow but at the beginning I think it is a small injury”.
Arsenal will take a trip to the King Power stadium to play in form Leicester City in their next PL fixture.