Arsenal 3-0 Watford

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Press conference

Wenger - Win gets us out of that negative spiral

We ended a run of three consecutive Premier League defeats, and made it back-to-back clean sheets, in hard-fought win over Watford on Sunday.

Arsène Wenger spoke to the media after the 3-0 victory, praised a landmark achievement for Petr Cech and gave his thoughts on the recent criticism of the team.

on today's game…
I thought we had a very good first half. I regret that we couldn’t take our chances and after that, in the second half, we suffered a bit because Watford put us under pressure. But we dealt well with the set-pieces. After that we stuck together and could take advantage of the weak moments they had defensively. In the end it was a convincing win. Of course, it highlights what Petr Cech has done with 200 clean sheets in his career. That is remarkable. On top of that, he saved a penalty today, that having just seen it again, was a very generous one.

on whether we moved the ball faster today…
I think so, yes. We did. It was an open game, basically. In Milan we moved the ball very quick and today we did again, but today we lost our legs a bit in the second half. A few bad passes came in then, when we lacked a little bit of freshness in the second half.

on it feeling like a big win due to the squad rotation…
I made six changes. I wanted to preserve some players, like Koscielny, who has a little calf problem. With Ramsey I was cautious. Wilshere had given a lot on Thursday night, we had a very physical game on Thursday night. But I wanted absolutely to win this game and it was difficult, but overall, it gets us a little bit out of that negative spiral that we were in.

on whether he feels that we are now close to turning the corner…
Yes. We need some more games. We had a nightmare week, so overall we still have some work to do. But we are on a good way.

on whether the approach to the Milan game was the ‘toughest’ in his career…
I don’t know. There is a lot of negativity. It’s like rain in England, it’s easy to get. I don’t know, basically, how much negativity is out there. I focus on my job and I think I have shown in 22 years that I can do that, that I respect everybody’s opinion and that I focus on my job with total commitment.

on whether he worries about fan apathy and empty seats…
Yes, of course I worry. I want our fans to be behind the team and be happy. But after what happened in that week, it’s a bit understandable. We are in a job where we have to get the fans on our side and do absolutely everything to do it, to achieve it. That’s what we want to do.

on Cech having to wait for his 200th clean sheet in the Premier League…
He had to wait a while to save a penalty! And it’s quite fortunate that it’s against Deeney, you know. On top of that, yes, to get that clean sheet. I believe that in two weeks, his situation shows how football is. In one week he went from hell to heaven. That’s how life can be. But I like the two situations because in the first situation he has shown a lot of humility and responsibility and a record like that witnesses a lot of motivation and a huge level of intelligence. You don’t last such a long time in the game if you are not intelligent.

on whether he is one of the greatest Premier League goalkeepers ever…
I leave that judgement to you, but I think yes.

on Cech surely being up there among the best…
Yes, of course, when you look at what he has achieved. Consistency is always the most difficult in life.

on Mesut Ozil reaching 50 assists in the league faster than anyone else…
Maybe the world has changed, as well. I believe that personally, I like him as a player. When you get negative statements, you have to deal with it. Maybe on that front the players need to be stronger nowadays than before.

on whether he feels that the ‘cojones’ comment earlier in the season motivated his players today…
You cannot be a football player, or any sportsman, without pride. So these things always come a little bit into it. How much? I don’t know. But of course, it plays a part. 

Goals

Watch all the goals from the Watford win

We recorded a second win in four days on Sunday, thanks to a comprehensive 3-0 win over Watford.

Shkodran Mustafi’s header meant we led at the break, before second-half strikes from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan secured the win.

Click on the 'play' button above to watch our extended highlights. 

Alternatively, you can scroll down to see all three goals, plus a bitesize cut and the full first and second halves.

 

Interview

'I'm feeling better… my confidence is back'

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his third goal for us during Sunday's 3-0 win over Watford.

The Gabon striker became our record signing in January and scored on his debut against Everton before netting again in last weekend's defeat to Brighton.

He was at it again against Watford, scoring the second goal, before setting up the third for his former Borussia Dortmund team-mate Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

"Yes, it's starting to come,” he said. "Today was a great team effort. I think the confidence is back I think, for me as well. I am feeling better and I have to thank my team-mates."

This was only the second time Aubameyang has tasted victory since coming to the club, but he's confident that tough start is behind him now.

"Of course it's not always easy to come in into a new team and integrate into the group, everyone knows that,” he said. “So it was a difficult moment for the club, but now are back on form, and that's good for us."

 

Team news

What's the latest on Ozil, Mustafi and Bellerin?

Arsène Wenger made six changes for the win over Watford, with one eye on Thursday's return match against AC Milan at Emirates Stadium.

Before the game he confirmed Aaron Ramsey and Laurent Koscielny were rested as a precaution, and after the 3-0 win over the Hornets the boss brought us up to speed with the other injuries currently impacting the squad.

on Mesut Ozil's ankle…
It looks alright. We have one problem and that’s Mustafi, who had to come off.

on Shkodran Mustafi's injury…
It’s a groin problem. We don’t know how bad. They told me they have to check tomorrow.

on Hector Bellerin's injury…
Bellerin is in quite a good way.

on whether Hector may return against Milan…
He could be available for Thursday, yes. And Monreal as well.

 

Interview

'We wanted to show fight and prove them wrong'

After three consecutive defeats in the Premier League, we returned to winning ways with a confidence-boosting victory against Watford.

Much of the pre-match build-up revolved around Troy Deeney’s comments back in October, when the Hornets skipper questioned out fight and application, but Rob Holding said that only inspired us going into Sunday’s game.

"It was definitely in the back of our minds," the defender told Arsenal Media at the final whistle.

"We don’t like coming off the pitch and someone saying that about us. We want to show our fight. I think today with a clean sheet – they didn’t have a sniff apart from with the penalty – we just wanted to prove them wrong and prove to our fans we’re still fighting and we believe."

Holding came into the side in place of Laurent Koscielny, who was rested between Europa League games, and played his part in helping the side keep a milestone clean sheet – it was Petr Cech’s 200th in his Premier League career.

"It’s been a tough spell,” Holding said. “We had the good result in Milan and we wanted to build on that and get another clean sheet. I’m buzzing for Petr to get over that milestone. It’s been hanging over his head for a while and it was a great penalty save from him. It was everything we wanted, really."

The Breakdown

How our passing game stung the Hornets

We returned to winning ways in the Premier League on Sunday with a 3-0 victory against Watford.

In the latest episode of The Breakdown, Adrian Clarke examines the match in detail, focusing on:

    •    How creating good passing angles was the key to victory
    •    Mohamed Elneny's polished performance
    •    The importance of our hard work at the back 
    •    Petr Cech's role in securing a hard-fought win

Click the 'Play' button above to watch the episode and then check out the following:

Post-Match Gallery

Arsenal 3-0 Watford: In pictures

Aubameyang forward flips after scoring v Watford

Check out the best shots from our photographers, pitch-side at the Emirates.