Press conference

'There were positives, and also things to improve'


Unai Emery was satisfied with our display as we drew 1-1 with Manchester United on Monday night.

Afterwards, our head coach faced the media to discuss the game, the midfield, Bukayo Saka and more. This is what he said:

on the game...
Good evening. 50/50. We wanted to win because we were thinking it was a very good opportunity to get the three points but after the 90 minutes I think that result is fair for both. There were plenty of things and that result can be a good point if we win on Sunday against Bournemouth at home. But really, the positive things, we are going to analyse that, but there are things to improve. Also some players took one step more ahead, as with Bukayo. Defensively as a team today I think we were better competitively in the match and offensively in some moments, maybe we could do better and create more chances. But I think we had some moments in the match after 1-1, the next chances we had with Bukayo for the second goal, is our moment. With the calm in the last minute they were pushing and they had one chance to score with the header, but we cleared and in the end we finished in their box, having the last chances to score with Reiss Nelson and having very good combination with Willock.

on the same midfield being used despite him saying it didn't work before...
We can use different players and we can use different game plans and also, the opposition demanded us differently. For example, tonight Manchester United demanded a lot here and with three midfielders we can be better with the balance defensively and offensively and maybe we wanted to connect more with our strikers or wingers to achieve better options to get into the box and have chances. But, our way is improving, and is also taking information for how we can improve, how we can do the balance with different players in the middle, in the wings, with the system. Tonight I am happy with a lot of things and after that I talk for information for how we can work to improve.

on Bukayo's display...
I think he's working and improving, being mature and also playing matches in front each player and each team as tonight, young, as tonight, Manchester United. But his work is natural and he is improving. He is helping us now as an important player. We are going to work with him with him with calm, with patience, but if he deserves to take minutes and to take confidence for helping us with his performance, that is fantastic for us.

on Xhaka's performance...
He worked with a big commitment and he was on the pitch with a very good balance defensively and offensively and I think his work tonight was well.

on Xhaka 'ducking' the McTominay shot...
He ran back, maybe the first in this action, I didn't see that action but I watched when he was running back and really he did perfectly with that running.

on the quality of the game and if both teams are poorer than before...
Now the football is changing and our physicality is very important. Every team is physically very strong. The quality is very important also and you do need to share both and you do need to play with quality of course. But you need to be ready physically to use the space on the pitch in 90 minutes against every team and every player. Every team and every player is now very fit in each team, and I think we have both, Manchester United and us, a lot of quality players and we need to use, improve and work to share physically and with the quality and also tactically to achieve the best performance that we need.

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