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Arsenal boss Unai Emery on the North London derby: I am proud of my players

PUBLISHED: 16:39 02 March 2019

Arsenal manager Unai Emery celebrates Aaron Ramsey's opener during the Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium (pic: John Walton/PA Images).

Arsenal manager Unai Emery celebrates Aaron Ramsey's opener during the Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium (pic: John Walton/PA Images).

PA Wire/PA Images

Arsenal boss Unai Emery has been speaking after his side drew 1-1 with Spurs in a hard-fought North London derby. Read on for what he said.

Tottenham Hotspur's Kieran Trippier (left) and Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Wembley Stadium, London.PATottenham Hotspur's Kieran Trippier (left) and Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Wembley Stadium, London.PA

Unai, pleased or disappointed...

Good afternoon. I am proud of the players, of our work and then you can win, you can lose, you can draw like we did. But above all, we played like a team, feeling together and pushing individually and collectively. After the adaptation to the match was good, our moments in 90 minutes, they were strong for us to think that also we could win this match.

Tottenham Hotspur's Kieran Trippier (left) and Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Wembley Stadium, London. PATottenham Hotspur's Kieran Trippier (left) and Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Wembley Stadium, London. PA

on the encroachment for Auba’s penalty…

Two months ago, I said to everybody that I think VAR is coming to help the referees. Today, for me, the referees were with a big personality, but it’s not enough for making the best decisions in difficult actions in the box for them and for us. I think VAR is coming to help them to be fair for a match like today. After, in 90 minutes, if you create chances and you score, you can win. They also created chances and our goalkeeper saved or they shot [off target]. But I think today that we played with a big collective spirit and tactically, I think we adapted well to battle them in our moments, also with transitions and some quality actions from our players. I am very proud of the players because after the 1-1 we got into their box to score the second goal and to win. This is the mentality that we want.

on Kane being offside for the Tottenham penalty award...

But the personality of the referee today was good. After, he made mistakes, that can come because it’s very difficult for them to watch in the moments, an action like that. VAR is coming to help them and to be fair for these decisions and I think it’s positive for football in England.

on Sokratis and his influence since signing...

His progress is very important for this performance and I think today he played well, but in the last matches he is coming with his best confidence in himself, for using his skills and his capacity to help us and he has experience to continue improving his progress with us, like today.

on if he believes in superstition and Auba’s bad luck at Wembley...

I spoke with him. He’s coming in for 35 minutes and his chances, his possibilities to help us to the victory. But he did this action, running back and getting the penalty. After, with this chance, you can score or not. But it’s one action in 90 minutes. For me, it’s not one mistake, it’s one action. The most important is to create chances, get the balls, take the penalty because we are there and after that you can score or not. But we need to create. The same with Lacazette. He had two chances and they were good chances in the match. Okay, he didn’t score, that’s no problem, now we need more. After Aubayemang was the same. This work we are doing and this mentality is about not being frustrated after we make one mistake or one action where we don’t score. I want to continue creating more and I think today we created so many important chances that gave us the possibility to win, but today it wasn’t for us.

on Lacazette being unhappy to come off and trying to keep both Auba and Laca happy...

They need to accept the decision. I am finding the best decisions for the team and they are playing other matches. Sometimes I am not happy with them both when their performances are not good when they’re both playing, but I am very consistent in our work to take the best decision and to give them the best performance for us, whether they’re playing together or alone. For example, next match it is not possible to play both because of the red card in Europe for Lacazette. I can only play Aubameyang.