Arsenal’s Sokratis pleased with goal and clean sheet

PUBLISHED: 17:30 05 October 2018

Arsenal's Sokratis Papastathopoulos (pic Nick Potts/PA)

Arsenal's Sokratis Papastathopoulos (pic Nick Potts/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos had double reason to cheer after the 3-0 Europa League win over Qarabag last Thursday.

As well as netting his first goal for the club, the Greek international also helped secure his first clean since joining in the summer.

And the 30-year-old admitted that felt more special than finding the net himself at the other end in Azerbaijan.

“Of course, this is the most important thing,” he told

“I’m very happy, also for the last games where we defended well, but still we need to improve and the other team wasted a lot of chances.

“We have been lucky and we know we’ve been lucky, but we have to work harder and I think it’s getting better.”

Head coach Unai Emery began with a back three of Sokratis, Rob Holding and Nacho Monreal, as Stephan Lichtsteiner and Sead Kolasinac acted as wing backs.

But after taking an early lead through Sokratis, who deflected home from close range when Monreal met Mohamed Elneny’s corner, they switched in the second half to a more conventional back four, and saw Emile Smith Rowe and Matteo Guendouzi also open their accounts with goals.

Sokratis added: “For me (a back three), it’s good because I’ve played a lot of games there in Borussia with Thoas Tuchel.

“I played a lot of games and I think it’s a very good system. Our manager knows well, he tries a lot of things and this is very good for the team. I think we’re on a good road.”

Qarabag had their moments, but Bernd Leno produced some fine saves to protect the clean sheet and Sokratis knows there is room for improvement.

“It was very hard and the other team played well. We won, we are very happy,” he added.

“We need to work harder and improve. We know that some things aren’t going good and we have to work harder and we are in this way.”

As for his first Arsenal goal – and 20th career strike in 381 appearances for club and country – he added: “It was lucky thanks to Nacho, but I’ve opened my account!”

Latest Hackney Stories

60 minutes ago

Harry Kane, Eric Dier, Harry Winks and Kieran Trippier all featured for the Three Lions in their 3-2 victory away to Spain


The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Sky Sports today announced a new four-year broadcast and multiplatform partnership that will see Sky Sports become the NBA’s exclusive broadcast partner and official website operator in the UK and Ireland.

Yesterday, 18:37

Five teenagers who killed father-of-three Daniel Frederick yards from his home in Stoke Newington have today been jailed for 64 years.

Yesterday, 18:00

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Norwegian announced today a partnership that sees the award-winning airline named presenting partner of the NBA London Game 2019.

Yesterday, 16:30

Ridley Road Shopping Village is being closed down by police over drug dealing and anti-social behaviour – kicking out long-standing traders with just two weeks’ notice.

Two men have conquered their fear of swimming to take the plunge and raise £42,000 for their friend who was paralysed on holiday this summer.

Yesterday, 15:00

The experienced midfielder wasn’t part of the matchday squad on Saturday and boss Justin Edinburgh explained why post-match

Yesterday, 12:30

A look at how some of Tottenham Hotspur’s players fared while on international duty over the weekend

Newsletter Sign Up

Hackney Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Show Job Lists