Chelsea v Arsenal

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Interview

‘That’s how it is… you learn the hard way’

Petr Cech

Petr Cech was a disappointed man after we suffered a late defeat against his former club on Saturday, but the goalkeeper is confident that we showed signs of development at Stamford Bridge.

He spoke to the media after the game, this is what he said:

on the performance…
Well, it was a great game for the fans and everybody watching because, there were so many chances. We went 2-0 down pretty quickly and had chances that we didn’t score in the first-half, but we came back and then we should have been up at half-time because we had another two really good chances to go ahead. But unfortunately we didn’t score the goals to go ahead and in the second half it continued in a similar fashion. But they put us under a little bit more pressure. Before the third goal I thought that we coped with it very well and I was positive that we were going to get something out of the game – at least a point.
 
on bouncing back in the first-half…
After the second goal we started playing really well. We came back with a big personality and we showed the maturity to deal with the situation. We got back and created chances, we scored goals and I thought that we were in a good place. At half-time we could have been 3-2 up, but maybe this is one of those moments where the game could have been different in the second half. We come away with no points, but we have a lot of positives and a lot of things we need to improve on.
 
on whether he’s being asked to do different things under Unai Emery…
I think every manager has his way of playing and obviously I see much more of the ball because we build up from the back, but as I said it’s the way that it is and you can see that I’m happy to help and be the spare man. We’re improving as a team altogether and the same applies to everyone – you have to show the manager that you’re good enough to play. We have a squad of 23 players and everyone in the squad needs to be ready to show the manager that they deserve a spot.
 
on a difficult start to the new season…
It’s not been easy, but sometimes that’s the way it is and you learn the hard way. We improved again from the last game, so having seen the work that we put in everyday and the way that the team response to things we do, I’m pretty positive we are on the right way to improve.

Quotes

Read every word of Emery’s press conference

We showed character to come back from two goals down, but Unai Emery was left with a sour taste in his mouth after Marcos Alonso’s late winner for Chelsea on Saturday.

Our head coach discussed our performance, Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka in his post-match press conference.

Read on for a full transcript:

on two defeats from two and what his assessment is…
Good evening. We spoke before the match that we needed to improve and to do one process, to be competitive in each match and to know or learn in the match. At the moment, that can happen. I think today, the team already after 2-0, the reaction was very good. In the first half, I think we created more chances to score and I think the 2-2 is a shock for us because we created more chances to score. In the second half, we had less moments in the match and we conceded more chances for Chelsea to score the third goal. For that reason, we need the balance but the result is like that. Our process is to just continue to improve the things, doing more with the balance of the defensive moments and attacking moments and also with the younger players with their passing. At the end of the match, we finished with two midfielders who were Lucas at 22 years old and Matteo at 19 years old. It’s clear, we need to win because we have a big responsibility to win the match and I think for continuing, in the next match in the Emirates against West Ham.

on how he felt about our second-half performance…
First, I am calm when I see my team creating chances. Goal or no goal, we need to continue working. For example today with Auba, I know with the attacking players you have maybe one moment not scoring three chances and then maybe they are going to score three less clear chances. With that, I want to do the balance between the attacking and the defensive moments because I think we conceded a lot to Chelsea and in the second half we need to keep control of the match, with the ball and with the positioning. I think maybe in the second half we lost the positioning in the pitch and were too deep in some moments.

on whether Mesut Ozil can be a central part of his system…
We need him. He helps us with his quality and also I want to push him to be competitive in every match. I am happy with Mesut because he worked hard. I decided to change it because I think we needed a little more of a push in the middle, so that we couldn’t let Chelsea progress easily with the ball. We were defending too deep and we needed a push, so for that I brought on Aaron to push up more and recover the ball to continue attacking. I am happy with Mesut. With him I am going to do the same work, help him and demand also that he works every day. At the moment he is doing that and I am happy. In the process, he is one player that I am sure is going to have a good season.

on why he took Granit Xhaka off…
This is a tactical decision because he also had a yellow card. We didn’t want to take the risk with the yellow card and we wanted to give a chance to other players we have in the middle.

on why he didn’t shake hands with Sarri after the match…
No, I waited in the dressing room to give the handshake.

on how he feels after the first two games…
Calm. I think we need to keep the players calm and continue working. I know we need to improve things, I know we need to push the players to work with our ideas. But for me, there are many positive things in the first match against Manchester City. It’s clear that at the moment we are at a difference from them. Then today, I think the team have worked and had chances in the match. And then with the young players it is a process. They are playing and they are growing every touch with their quality and our demanding.

Quotes

Iwobi - We had to take those first-half chances

Alex Iwobi was a surprise inclusion at Chelsea on Saturday, but he repaid Unai Emery with a fine goalscoring display.

Unfortunately it did not prove to be enough as we were beaten 3-2, and afterwards the Nigeria international faced the media.

This is what he said:

on the game…
For the neutral fans watching, it was an amazing game but for us Arsenal fans and players it’s very hard to take, especially after coming back from 2-0 down. It’s not the result we wanted, we just have to forget about it and focus on the positives.
 
on what we have to improve on in the next game…
Obviously we’re working to try to get into the dangerous positions in the first place, which is good, but we need to take our chances. Taking those chances [against Chelsea] would have won us the game. We’ll continue to create those chances and hopefully make the most of them in the next game.
 
on working with Unai…
It’s very good. As you can see, we’re buying into it. It’s a lot of intensity and it demands a lot, but we’re enjoying it. Unfortunately the results aren’t going our way, but we promise that we’ll keep on fighting and do our best to get a result.
 
on how frustrating the start of the season has been…
Of course it’s been frustrating p[laying against these sides early doors, but we can’t dwell on this. We’ve got to deal with it and keep on fighting this season. We just have to keep on going.
 
on whether he’s seen improvement since the City defeat…
It was a bit of a shaky start but we showed character to fight back to 2-2. We were just unfortunate and should have got the result we wanted by keeping it tight in defence. We have to keep on going.
 
on whether it’s tough to play against big teams this early under a new coach…

It’s not difficult, you just have to buy into what he says and do what is demanding. We’ll keep on listening to him, we’ll keep on working on the training pitch and hopefully the outcomes that we want and deserve will come through.

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Sokratis - We made it too easy for them

Sokratis Papastathopoulos

Sokratis was understandably disappointed after we were beaten by a late Marcos Alonso strike at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

The Greek centre back spoke to the media after the game and discussed the 3-2 defeat, our first-half defending and more.

This is what he said:

on the loss…
It was a difficult game. We didn’t start very well. For the first 20 minutes we were not playing as well as we wanted to be. After that we started to play. We missed a lot of chances but we managed to score two goals. In the end it difficult to find the goal to win the game. We didn’t score, they managed to and we lost.
 
on whether defensive mistakes cost us…
We didn’t defend very well in the first half, all the team. It was too easy for them to come into our half and score. After that, we started to play better, we pressed better, won a lot of balls in midfield and had chances. We had to score more because in the end we lost the game. We have to improve in the next game.
 
on it taking time to gel…
Of course. It’s difficult because we’ve changed a lot of things. We need to improve our work, how we defend, how we attack. We have to score from the chances we create and we have to look at taking those points into our next game.

Post-Match Report

Chelsea 3-2 Arsenal: How it happened

Sokratis

WHAT HAPPENED

 We suffered a late defeat at Stamford Bridge on Saturday to leave Unai Emery still looking for his first points in charge.
 
The winning goal came nine minutes from time, undoing all the good work from a pulsating opening 45 minutes, when we struck twice in four minutes to level up after a disastrous start.
 
The first half was non-stop action. Chelsea began positively in their first home game of the season, and were soon a goal to the good. The gaps in our defence were far too big, as Marcos Alonso burst free on the left and fed the ball into an unmarked Pedro to slot home.
 
Our defending was unconvincing, but we looked dangerous going forward, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a glorious chance to level but uncharacteristically blazed well over.
 
The mistake was compounded just seconds later when Morata ran on to another long ball and slotted past Petr Cech.

Micki finish at Chelsea

Henrikh Mkhitaryan equalises at Stamford Bridge

 
The mood was hardly helped by another wasted opportunity as Henrikh Mkhitaryan skied one, but the Armenian made amends when he tucked home a wonderful left-footed shot from the edge of the area.
 
We were revitalised, and four minutes later drew level as a dangerous cutback  fell invitingly at the feet of Alex Iwobi to thump home.
 
The half-time interval seemed to halt our momentum. Chelsea enjoyed more possession after the restart, and created more chances, but our defence were far more compact.
 
That was until substitute Eden Hazard escaped down the left wing and picked out Alonso at the near post to tuck home the winner.

Iwobi finish at Chelsea

Alex Iwobi equalises


HOW IT HAPPENED

See how Emery's first away game in charge played out with our minute-by-minute commentary.
 

WHAT’S NEXT

It's back home for another London derby next Saturday, this time against West Ham, with an early return to Emirates Stadium for Jack Wilshere.
 
Then it's Cardiff away before the first international break of the season, and time to take stock four games into the Emery era.

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