Arsenal v Everton

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Interview

'That first clean sheet of the season is big'

Rob Holding came on for his second appearance of the season on Sunday - and was delighted to play his part as we claimed a clean sheet against Everton.

The centre back feels that out first shutout is "big" for confidence, and this is what he told Arsenal Media after the game:

on how hard they had to work for all three points…
We knew it would be [hard]. Everton have had a good start to the season and they’ve got pace on the counter-attack and strength, so we had to be careful when we’re attacking because they are a threat. But we managed to deal with it and got our first clean sheet of the season which is big.

on how desperate the squad were to keep a clean sheet…
Yeah, we’ve obviously conceded in each game so the clean sheet is a big boost for us and that was the target for the last few games, to keep a clean sheet! It’s good to get that off our back now and we can push on for the rest of the season.

on what changed at half-time…
We know what we’re capable of and we had to keep doing what we’ve been pushing for. We were getting in behind them a few times down the left-hand side, so that was a good threat for us and we kept pushing and managed to get the two early goals in the second half. It was just about keeping a clean sheet after that.

on whether he’s feeling match-fit…
That’s something that you obviously only get with matches, so it’s something I’ve had to work on in training, and before the international break the boss pulled me in and said ‘Keep doing what you’re doing, the games are coming thick and fast now.’ So I just had to be ready mentally and physically, and I’ve been fine in both games, so I look forward to it.

on Auba and Laca…
We both know that they’re top-quality players and I think the team chemistry we’ve got at the moment is top class. Everyone around the training ground has a good buzz, so I think if they just keep enjoy playing together and scoring goals, they’ll be happy!

on whether they feel that they’re on to something good…
We wanted a winning mentality and that was a big thing with the boss coming in. That’s something that we’ve got to stick to and you get that with wins. They build your confidence up and you go into each game thinking that we can win this game and it gives us all a boost.

Quotes

'Emery is very demanding... it's how you improve'

Petr Cech

Petr Cech was a happy man after delivering an outstanding display as we kept our first clean sheet of the season in the 2-0 victory against Everton.

 
Afterwards the legendary goalkeeper was asked about playing under Unai Emery, the mentality of the team this term and demanding more of themselves as players.
 
This is what Cech told the media:
 
on his man-of-the-match performance…
It is a great win because it is the fourth win in a row and having lost the first two games obviously we needed to bounce back and get as many points as possible and ideally with wins. Now we have four wins in a row, two away, two at home and we are in a much better place. The three points were not easy because in the first half they were the better side. They had opportunities to be in front and we had to make sure we went in at half time without a goal conceded and without giving them the advantage. We fought hard to do that and managed to do so. In the second half we improved, scored two great goals and then we had more control in the game. We could have scored more goals and although they threw everything at us in the last 15-20 minutes we managed to see the game through with a good defensive display. In the end, it is a very valuable three points.
 
on getting the early two defeats out of their system…
We had a very hard start and with two defeats it was not ideal. But I thought especially at Chelsea we did a lot better than the result showed at the end. So we knew that we were capable of competing with everybody and we just needed to get it via results. Now we turn the work into wins and points, which is very important. But there were obviously things we need to improve and there are things we have been doing really well. We work on that every day and with the confidence we get from winning the game, it is much easier.
 
on people writing them off early on…
We concentrate on ourselves. People can have their opinions. The season is very long. We have four wins in a row and are in a much better place but there are so many games to be played still. You go through periods in the season where you are getting through difficult moments, better moments, great moments so we keep our feet on the ground. We keep working and we try to do our best to get as many points as possible and improve in every game. We are happy with the points.
 
on the fact he has been busy as a goalkeeper...
Obviously this is something you don’t want to give your opponent at this level but at the same time, we realise that the Premier League is the toughest league in the world because everybody has quality players, everybody can beat everybody and if you allow people time and chances with the ball you can be in a dangerous place. The difference was that [Everton] didn’t take their chances in the first half, in the second half we came on top and scored two great goals.
 
on whether the mentality has changed...
For any club who wins titles in the recent years, you have a team with the knowhow how to finish it off and you can see it in any sport. I take Tiger Woods – five years since he won a major tournament and the longer it goes, the harder it becomes. This club hasn’t won the league for over 10 years so obviously you need to get back into knowing how to do it. We started with the new manager from scratch basically and we try to get this mentality of winning every game, progressing every game, working every day and hopefully we can build this up and win the title sooner rather than later. That will make the big difference.

 
on what they need to do...
What we lacked in the past… I would say the Arsenal way was more important than getting the points sometimes and this is not sometimes how you win the league. Sometimes you need to make sure you win an ugly game, when you are not playing completely well but you just dig deep, close the back door and win 1-0 no matter how. I think this is what we lacked since I arrived, over the last three years. Yesterday we showed, going through difficult moments in the game, we managed to get the win with the clean sheet so this is very positive.
 
on where the change comes from...
I think it comes from the preparation, the everyday work and from the head coach's way of playing the game as well. We work very hard every day as well to give ourselves the chance to compete with everybody and hopefully it will be working even better than it has been for the last four games.
 
on Unai Emery...
He is very demanding and I think this is how you improve. I think the place became much more demanding in every way so this is great to see because this is what initially drives everybody forward and gives you the kind of kick that, ‘I’m not doing enough to start the game’ or ‘I’m not doing enough to keep my spot in the game’ because the manager asked for precision and hard work every day. This is how it should be. We have very healthy competition and we are actually taking the benefit of it.

Post-Match Report

Arsenal 2-0 Everton: How it happened

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

WHAT HAPPENED

Two goals in the space of three second-half minutes were enough to see off a spirited Everton side at Emirates Stadium.
 
Petr Cech kept us in the game during the first half, saving well from Richarlison and the returning Theo Walcott, but the game was flipped on its head just before the hour mark.
 
Alexandre Lacazette fired a superb opening goal, finding the top corner from 15 yards out, before Pierre-Emmerick Aubameyang made sure of the points shortly afterwards, when Mesut Ozil's cross fell to him via Aaron Ramsey.
 
Everton started well, with Richarlison forced a good diving save from Cech midway through the first half, while our best chance in the opening exchanges was a charged down Nacho Monreal shot.
 
The visitors continued to dictate the pace of the game, Cech having to race off his line to deny the advancing Walcott before the defence had to reorganise following an injury to Sokratis. Rob Holding, who impressed on Thursday night, replaced him. 
 
Cech was called  upon late in the half yet again, and made a strong save to keep out a rising Richarlison effort.

Auba celebration GIF

The goal... then the celebration

 
We were labouring again in the second half, but a moment of genius from Lacazette broke the deadlock. Ramsey found the Frenchman just inside the area, and the striker took a touch before arrowing his shot straight into the top corner. It was an unstoppable strike and settled us - and moments later we doubled our lead.
 
Lacazette started the move for the second, stealing the ball and sending Ozil free. The German broke into the box, looked to pick out Ramsey, but the ball was slightly behind him, where Aubameyang was lurking to tuck home his third goal of the week.
 
The quickfire double completely changed the complexion of the game.
 
Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck were introduced to add extra attacking threat, but the priority now was keeping a first clean sheet of the season - and we managed this thanks to a couple more saves from Cech, and at the final whistle the home fans were able to celebrate a fifth successive win.

HOW IT HAPPENED

See how the match unfolded and get all the key stats in our play-by-play commentary.  

WHAT'S NEXT

The third of four home games in the space of 10 days comes on Wednesday night, when we host Brentford in the third round of the Carabao Cup. 

We made it all the way to the final last season, but the Bees will provide stiff opposition - they are seventh in the Championship, despite a 3-1 defeat on Saturday. 

Then three days later we are back at Emirates again, to face Watford in the Premier League on Saturday.

Quotes

Laca - What I was thinking before my goal

Alex Lacazette

Frustration was starting to creep in at Emirates Stadium on Sunday as we struggled to make the breakthrough against Sunday.

We needed someone to step up with something special - and that man was Alex Lacazette who scored with a rocket in the 53rd minute.

The France international discussed his strike and the thinking behind it after the match, and this is what he told the media:

on his goal...
Yes [I knew where I wanted it to go] because we work on it a lot in training so when I'm in this area, I know where I have to shoot.

on his first thought being to get it out from under his feet...
Yes, because the first touch is most important when it comes to scoring a goal so I did my best with the control.

on Petr Cech's performance...
[We owe him] big, big thanks because he stopped a lot of goals and for the first time we kept a clean sheet.

on him and Auba having 193 goals between them in the last three seasons...
[It's down to] work, work, a lot of work!
 

Press conference

Emery - Why we improved in the second half

For the opening 45 minutes against Everton, Unai Emery cut a frustrated figure on the Emirates Stadium touchline.

The visitors had come close on numerous occasions to breaking through, but after the restart we were much improved. So what happened to cause this change?

This is what he told the media:

on the win…
Victory is very important for us. It’s three points for playing our way in the table. Then we can analyse the game and the 90 minutes, but firstly for today the victory is very important.

on whether he was about to make a sub before the first goal…
Yes. We needed to change something in this moment to give us another individual quality on the pitch. Then we scored the goal and I decided to stop it and think again about who we need next.
 
on whether Lacazette would come off…
I don’t think it’s important, but maybe yes! Football is like that.
 
on improving in second half and starting slowly…
In 90 minutes, there are moments for the opposition and there are our moments. We needed our goalkeeper to stop their attacking moments and we needed our strikers to score our attacking moments. Today is a good example. Then we want to control the game more in the first half, because we didn’t have the ball like we want. We conceded two or three important chances to Everton, but in the second half we spoke in the dressing room about stopping their attacking moments with better positioning on the pitch. Also, individually, each player helped to push more in the second half. I think we only conceded one chance from a free-kick which Petr Cech saved very well and there were no more. In attacking moments, we played well in 20 minutes to win this match and in the last minutes we defended very well near our goalkeeper and in our box. 
 
on Sokratis…
We don’t know now but the first analysis is that the doctors will wait until tomorrow. It’s his knee but I’m hoping it’s not too serious.

Goals

Watch the goals from our win over Everton

We picked up our fifth win in a row by beating Everton 2-0 at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

After a goalless first half, Alexandre Lacazette sparked the game into life with an unstoppable strike from the edge of the box. 

Then just two moments later, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang secured all three points by finishing from close range.

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

The Breakdown

Analysis: Forceful second half tips the balance

We made it five wins on the spin on Sunday with a hard-fought 2-0 victory against Everton at Emirates Stadium.

In the latest episode of The Breakdown, Adrian Clarke analyses the match in detail and focuses on:

  • The disconnect between the back four and midfield
  • The attitude shift between the first and second halves
  • How Lucas Torreira performed in his first Premier League start
  • Petr Cech's outstanding display in goal