Interview

Emery on ‘a crazy match’, Mesut Ozil and more

After a breathless, but ultimately disappointing night at Anfield, head coach Unai Emery faced the media and discussed the performance, Mesut Ozil’s impact and the mood in the dressing room.

Read on for a full transcript of his post-match press conference.

on the defeat...
Good evening, it was a crazy match. I think it was amazing for the supporters, for us and everybody. For the football, I think as a supporter I enjoyed it. The play in the first half had a high rhythm. It was a very good performance in general, we can also speak about the defensive moments tactically but in attack, five goals. But we can’t be 100 per cent happy even if we had won. Sometimes I think in these matches, like tonight, it can help the supporters being happy with the energy, with the spirit from both teams. We were very close to the win and they equalised late on and penalties are 50/50. We are disappointed in the end, defensively because we conceded five goals but there were a lot of positives for us to use for the future.

on Mesut Ozil’s performance...
I think he played very well. Tonight, you’ve seen he is a skilful player in the team and he was very positive every time and I think he played a very good match. We spoke before the match, and we made the decision in the second half to take him off because he hasn’t played for a little while and we want to keep his fitness as he was very tired but for him it was great to play 60/65 minutes.

on substituting Ozil...
We decided before the game to only play him for that amount of time. I think in that moment it is good to make that decision as we were calm and he did the work very well and we decided it was better to rest him. 

on his further inclusion... 
Yes he will feature. We have a match on Saturday and we will look at the possibility to use him again alongside other players and this is the way sometimes.

on the mood in the dressing room...
Yes it’s a bit flat because we played in a positive way and we came back after the start with a good performance and with good patience. We took confidence from the first and second half. When they drew level we again took the lead. It was a great goal and a nice moment an exciting moment for us and our supporters. They were here and the last goal was a bad moment for us because it was in injury time and the penalties are 50/50. We lost in that moment but I think we did very good things tonight and also think we can take some players’ confidence which is good for them and we are going to continue. Now the most important thing is we had good intentions in this competition but we lost and we now focus on Saturday.

on squad rotation...
Every player has the potential to play and we can use different players in all competitions. For example tonight is one step for some and we will decide the squad for other matches but tonight they played very well.