Arsenal manager Unai Emery has explained what his message to his players was as they found themselves 1-0 down to Manchester United at half time in yesterday’s big Premier League clash at Old Trafford.
The Gunners went behind to a goal from Scott McTominay, but then responded in the second period through a well-taken equaliser from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Emery did well to coax an improved performance out of his players for the second half, with the Spanish tactician simply explaining that he told his players to keep calm and focus on getting the one goal needed to level things up.
Emery says he then told his players to try and go for the winner, which perhaps explains the more positive approach of the side in the second 45 minutes of the game.
“The first half for example, they started pressing a lot, but we controlled the match with good positioning, not letting a lot of chances,” Emery told Sky Sports after the game, as quoted by the Metro.
“At the end of the first half we let them have three transitions, and the third was a goal.
“And second half we were speaking in the dressing room: be calm and our objective was to score one goal and after to try to find our moment to get the possibility to win the match.”
Arsenal fans will be glad to see that their manager was able to change the flow of the game and come back to gain a point, but it’s also fair to say that Emery has often seemed better at responding to games than he has been at setting his side up in the right way to begin with.
The jury is very much still out on the former Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain boss at the Emirates Stadium.