Arsenal manager Unai Emery rallied his troops with a few motivational words at the interval against Sporting in the Europa League on Thursday.
The Gunners went in at the break at 0-0 despite controlling the game against their Portuguese opponents, but they looked even sharper in the second period as Danny Welbeck grabbed the 87th-minute winner.
The Englishman capitalised on a poor piece of defending from Sebastian Coates to break into the box and fire into the net for his fifth goal of the season, which extended Arsenal’s winning run in all competitions to eleven matches.
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However, Sporting did look as though they might end that run for large periods of this particular contest and Emery insists that his team emerged in the second half with a more forceful attitude which ultimately secured the three points.
“When we were in the dressing room at half-time we spoke and said ‘OK we cannot impose our game in first 45 minutes, but the second half we have the opportunity to change the result and continue in our way’,” The Spanish boss revealed to reporters post-match, as per Metro Sport.
“Thinking only of winning this match and improving things in the second half. I think the team did that in the second 45 minutes. But we need to continue finding the solution for the first half to be better.”
Arsenal are now top of Group E with nine points after three matches, three ahead of the Portuguese giants and six ahead of Vorskla in third.
? One-nil, to The Arsenal… ?
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) October 25, 2018
Emery’s men are in a strong position to qualify for the next round and now their attention must switch to a vital Premier League showdown against Cyrstal Palace on Sunday.
Another win would see the Gunners keep up the pressure on their rivals at the top of the table and continue their fantastic resurgence under Emery, with the tough fixtures set to pile up in the coming weeks.