It wasn't pretty, but we got the job done.
That was the sentiment of Joe Montemurro after seeing his side secure Continental League Cup progression with a late 1-0 win over Reading on Wednesday night.
We spoke to Montemurro after the game - and this is what he said:
on the overall performance…
There were lots of elements of frustration. The reality is that they’re a team that are busy, press high and don’t allow you to play out. They know that if we get in our rhythm then it makes it difficult for them, and they stopped us in periods of the game. They did well and we probably played ourselves into some silly areas every once in a while. But all in all, I think we created plenty of chances throughout the game and could have gone ahead in the first half. They had their chance in the second half that they really should have scored, but outside of that, I don’t think there were any other major chances.
on whether we abandoned our principles at the end of the first half…
Absolutely. Games that are stop and start can be really frustrating because you’re involved, then you’re not involved, then it starts, then it stops again. It’s a frustrating night for us, but it’s cup football and cup football has a way of springing surprises at you. But we did what we needed to do and that shows the maturity of the team. We’re very happy to be through.
on whether he needs to make tactical tweaks when Mead starts through the middle….
It depends on the reaction of what their defenders are doing. If their defenders are very narrow, then we’ll probably try to stretch them and go beyond, and if their defenders are very wide, then we’ll try to come inside and attack spaces in-between. It depends on the positioning of their defensive line.
Copyright 2020 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.