Cardiff v Arsenal

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Press conference

Emery’s press conference: every single word

Unai Emery took plenty of positives from Sunday’s win over Cardiff City - and you can find out exactly what he said right here.

The head coach fielded questions on Mesut Ozil, our strikers, Lucas Torreira and the tactic of playing the ball out from the back. Here’s a transcript:

on Arsenal’s character…
The reaction was very important. We have done it in each match, and today it was the same. It was the same [reaction] when we needed to win [this game] after they equalised twice. I think the reaction was very good for continuing with our personality. The most important was to be calm and continue working. They found chances and options in the match to score with their attacking movements, and we need to continue to improve in our defensive movements. Also in our box, not conceding these chances to the opposition. Cardiff had strong moments but before that, I think we controlled the match. With this way, we won.

on how good the Lacazette and Aubameyang partnership can be…
They are playing in the position, they are playing minutes in each match and today they started. We are continuing working on the combination on the pitch between the players, and also keeping our mentality and our ideas. Today I think the performance of the two players, with their goals, helped us. We can continue to work to find the best individual performance and quality from each player.

on Lacazette’s performance…
I spoke with him because I knew him at Lyon. I know he has a great capacity to score when he’s in the box and when the team give him good chances. He has very good scoring data and today he showed us. It’s good for his confidence, this match and this goal, plus this victory for the team. Many important things happened today on the pitch.

on Torreira - and what he needs to do to start…
He’s improving and getting to know his teammates. For me, all the minutes he’s playing are very important for the performance. [He needs] to continue working. Every minute they are playing, they are [improving] their performances. It’s very important also for me to have another [option] in midfield. Matteo has started very well in the Premier League. Xhaka is very important for us and Elneny is working well every day. We need good players and good commitment when they are on the pitch. Lucas is like that. 

on whether he’s still confident that Cech can play out from the back…
He’s progressing. He has experience and he is intelligent and he is doing what we want to do to win with our jobs and work on the pitch. It’s very important for me to continue doing this and improving. If you play every time long balls, you lose possession and momentum. We take risks in moments of the match, but when you break their pressing on the pitch you can find space for attacking the opposition. It is for that it’s clear you can maybe do one mistake like today and one action, but we need to continue with this personality. We need to continue also then to do the mix, to [play a] long ball with the space for the first action, and the second action to win possession on the pitch and then continue going forward to the opposition goal.

on conceding to a set-piece…
For us it’s also very important today for the first goal from the corner for Mustafi and I think we are creating chances from every free-kick and corner chances for us to score. And also, their strongest moments are in free-kicks, in throw-ins and long balls into our box. It’s for that we know and we are working and we want today to do better in these situations of defending moments. Morrison is very important for them in these actions and his performance is good for them, but I think we can work to improve that.

on Mesut Ozil coming back into the side…
I want to give every player the same condition and every player is very important, but with Ozil and his quality I think we need to give us his moment in the match with his quality for the team. I think today in the second half he played a good match because he worked every minute that he was on the pitch. And maybe with the control and possession in the second half and the positions on the pitch, he feels better on the pitch.

Video

Watch all the goals from our win over Cardiff

It was tough - but we secured our first away win under Unai Emery at Cardiff City on Sunday.

We had to show character to do it though, with the spirited hosts twice equalising after goals from Shkodran Mustafi and then Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had put us in front.

But Alexandre Lacazette had the final say late on, powering home after Lucas Torreira had found him inside the penalty area.

You can watch all the highlights from the match by pressing the ‘Play’ button above, while all three of our goals plus a full-match replay can be viewed below.

 

Post-Match Report

Cardiff 2-3 Arsenal: How it happened

Alexandre Lacazette celebrates against Cardiff

WHAT HAPPENED

Alex Lacazette smashed in a late winner as we eventually shook off a spirited Cardiff side in Wales.

The France striker found the roof of the net from a narrow angle, set up a goal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and even hit the post - not a bad return on his return to the starting line-up.
 
Harry Arter should have given Cardiff an early lead when he blazed over after intercepting a pass from Petr Cech that was meant for Matteo Guendouzi.
 
Instead it was Shkodran Mustafi who opened the scoring. The centre back made a darting run to the near post to meet Granit Xhaka’s corner and powered a header into the top corner.

Shkodran Mustafi: Cardiff (a)

Shkodran Mustafi heads in our opener against Cardiff

Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge denied Aaron Ramsey a goal on his return to his former club - after more good work from Lacazette.
 
Cardiff had their fair share of chances too and might have levelled when Danny Ward missed Bobby Reid’s cross by a matter of inches.
 
Victor Camerasa did find an equaliser in first-half stoppage time, getting the better of Monreal to rifle a shot into the roof into the net.
 
Aubameyang restored our lead in an equally entertaining second half, latching onto Lacazette’s neat flick to curl a shot beyond the dive of Etheridge from just outside the box.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: Cardiff (a)

It was Aubameyang's 150th top-flight goal

But once again we couldn’t shake off a spirited Cardiff side. This time Sean Morrison climbed well to head the ball across goal and Ward guided a header in off the post.
 
Frustration was setting in, but Lacazette had the last word - in emphatic fashion.

Alexandre Lacazette scores against Cardiff

Lacazette fires home the winner


HOW IT HAPPENED

See how our first away win of the season unfolded with our play-by-play commentary

FOUR THINGS WE NOTICED

Laca's impact, Guendouzi's learning curve, Mustafi's aerial prowess and brilliant support - find out how they shaped our win

TEAM NEWS

Unai Emery made two changes from the team that best West Ham United.
 
Alex Iwobi was sidelined by illness and Henrikh Mkhitaryan dropped down to the substitutes bench. In came Mesut Ozil and Alex Lacazette.
 
Aaron Ramsey returned to Cardiff to face his former club - 10 years after leaving them for us.
 
Laurent Koscielny, Sead Kolasinac, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Carl Jenkinson are still recovering from injuries.

Aaron Ramsey: Cardiff (a)

Aaron Ramsey in action for Arsenal against his boyhood club


WHAT’S NEXT

We head into an international break now but you can still see an Arsenal game - the legends face Real Madrid at Emirates Stadium on September 8 and tickets are still available.
 
The first team will be back on the road when the Premier League resumes. We’re at Newcastle United on September 15.

Arsenal celebrate against Cardiff

Interview

‘Friendship with Auba helps us on the pitch’

Alex Lacazette says that his friendship with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is helping the duo combine on the pitch.

The camaraderie throughout our squad is strong, and Auba and Laca have really hit it off since the latter arrived in London in January.

On Sunday they both scored against Cardiff City, with Lacazette setting up his friend before smashing in the winner.

“When you’re friends off the pitch, it’s easier for you to play well together on it,” said the France striker.

“We work a lot in training, every day we work together and with the other players as well. Today it was good because I could assist his goal and it was a good finish from him.

“We work every day and it’s not only with Auba, it’s with Aaron as well.

“I wanted to start well and prove to the coach that I could be in the first XI,” Lacazette added. “I started for the first time this season, so I was happy. Even if we made some mistakes, I think it was a good game.

“He [Emery] wants us to keep the ball and possession. Today we made a lot of mistakes, even though he told us before to be careful. If we listen to what we asks us, then we can do a lot.”

Interview

‘I love coming back here… it’s emotional’

Aaron Ramsey applauds the fans after his return to Cardiff City

Aaron Ramsey had a chance to add some personal gloss to Sunday’s win over Cardiff City when he took aim inside the box well into stoppage time.

It wasn’t to be - Neil Etheridge denied Ramsey for the second time in the match - but the Wales star still had plenty to enjoy on his return to his boyhood club.

Here’s what Aaron said after the game:

on the win…
It’s just massive. We wanted to take full advantage of the opportunity that we had today and we did that. We had a difficult start against Manchester City and Chelsea but we’ve got six points now. We knew it was always going to be difficult here. The crowd is superb and they get right behind their team. If they have any chance, you can really feel the atmosphere. We did well in the end to overcome that.

on what it was like returning to Cardiff…
It’s always emotional. I love coming back here, playing on this pitch in front of those fans. This is where I was brought up and given the opportunity to play football, so I’m very grateful for that opportunity and it was a pleasure to come back again.

on getting to grips with Emery’s demands…
Of course. We know it’s going to be a process and hopefully we’ll improve in every game to get stronger and stronger as the season goes on. We’ve done well after the tough start that we’ve had, so hopefully now we can come back from international duty and kick on.

Quotes

‘Ozil worked every minute he was on the pitch’

Mesut Ozil

Mesut Ozil put in a shift at Cardiff City on Sunday - and our head coach appreciated his efforts.

The Germany playmaker wasn’t at his creative best but he grafted with the rest of the team as we battled to a 3-2 win, before making way for Danny Welbeck late on.

“I think today in the second half Mesut played a good match because he worked every minute that he was on the pitch,” said Emery.
 
“Maybe with the control and possession [we had] in the second half, and the positions on the pitch, he feels better on the pitch.
 
“I want to give every player the same condition and every player is very important. With Ozil and his quality, I think we need… his quality for the team.”

Mesut Ozil takes a corner against Cardiff

Mesut Ozil takes a corner against Cardiff

Interview

Playing out from the back? ‘It’s a process’

Shkodran Mustafi was back among the goals on Sunday - and he used his head yet again.

The Germany defender is a real menace in the opposition penalty area and he nodded home Granit Xhaka’s corner to set us on our way to a 3-2 win over Cardiff City.
 
Five of Mustafi’s six Premier League goals have been headers and, although our previous 16 goals were scored from open play, this latest set-piece success did not surprise the scorer.
 
“I don’t know if you saw last season, but we scored a lot of goals from set-pieces,” said Mustafi. “Nacho Monreal, especially, scored a lot of goals from set-pieces. Lolo Koscielny and myself too.”

Mustafi and his fellow defenders - plus the goalkeepers - are applying Unai Emery’s principle of playing the ball out from the back. There have been a few nervous moments while the team adapts, but Mustafi thinks we’re improving.
 
“It’s a process,” he said. “We have tried everything in pre-season but then when you make a mistake in pre-season it’s not that bad. In the Premier League you don’t want to make those mistakes, but you have to show your personality because we are a big football club with big players.
 
“We have to show the personality that we can play from the back because that’s our football and that’s how it suits us to play. We just have to keep working on that. Hopefully in a few games we’re going to look a bit more comfortable.”

Fixtures

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Results

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