Football News

Unai Emery ‘proud’ of Granit Xhaka’s north London Derby performance

By charlie.bradley

Published: 22:12, 1 September 2019 | Updated: 10:47, 3 September 2019

Arsenal manager Unai Emery insists he is proud of Granit Xhaka’s performance in the north London derby.

The Swiss midfielder received heavy criticism on Sunday after a poor performance, which included a reckless challenge in the first half which gave Tottenham Hotspur a penalty and two-goal lead.

Arsenal’s defensive woes: Five things to know…

  • For many years, Arsenal’s defence has been highlighted as their biggest problem.
  • The Gunners signed David Luiz from Chelsea in the summer with the hopes of fixing their woes.
  • But the Brazilian has not done much to stabilise the defence, with a particularly poor display against Liverpool.
  • Sokratis also had a bad game against Tottenham, with a mistake in the build up to Christian Eriksen’s goal.
  • Arsenal have conceded six goals in four games this season.

Emery’s side did manage to recover to earn a 2-2 draw, but Arsenal’s captain contributed to the sloppy defending that initially left them trailing.

The Arsenal boss told reporters after the Spurs game that Xhaka can learn from his mistakes, saying: “In 90 minutes I’m very proud of his work.

“Some mistakes we can have. I want to use to progress and improve and learn.

“There are a lot more positive things collectively than individually. The penalty is really one very disappointing action.

“If we win that match maybe we’d talk about that action less.”

Emery also insisted that, despite sloppy defending, his side were unlucky to come away with just a point.

He added: “The result, we deserved more. Their movement… the second half we controlled better than the first. Tactically the first goal was a mistake but we played that action more with heart than head.

“If you concede one action they have very good players to score. The second goal is the same, one mistake. Our first 20-25 minutes were very good.”

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Up next for Arsenal?

After the international break, Arsenal play bottom side Watford away, Aston Villa at home and the Manchester United at Old Trafford in a top four six-pointer.

On the European front, they open their Europa League campaign with a tough trip to Eintracht Frankfurt on September 19.