Carabao Cup

1 of 6
Press conference

Why Granit Xhaka started at centre back

We’ve seen Granit Xhaka deployed in a variety of positions this season - and he continued at centre half in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup defeat to Tottenham

In Unai Emery’s post-match press conference, our head coach explained why Xhaka was deployed at the back, and reflected on an evening where we were made to rue missed chances.

on the result…
Good evening. I think we worked like we wanted to, like we’d prepared for this match. We created chances in the first half to score, but today the efficiency was not good for us. We didn’t concede a lot of chances, but they have good players with quality who scored. We worked for 90 minutes and in our moments we didn’t take our chances. They scored theirs. Only the first half, I think we were good on the pitch but then sometimes we needed a bit more of the ball to keep possession longer. But that’s not easy against them because they press really well. Our planned game, we worked on that. It was poor finishing.

on if poor finishing or tiredness cost us…
The first one. We had Micki with the one on one [chance early on] and they scored with their first one-on-one. but this is football. Today I am happy with our performance, but not happy with our result. But also I think we are doing our process. They are ahead of us in this process. We need to continue creating our identity, our strong ideas to be more consistent in the games. But this is our way. Now we’ve finished in this competition and are thinking about Saturday because we have another three very important competitions, the first is the Premier League, then the Europa League and also the FA Cup. Today we finished this competition. 

on whether there was a problem with a high line...
For the second goal we were pushing and playing with some risk on the pitch because we needed to create chances to score. We were having a lot of attacking moments, which meant they could score from one transition. Their efficiency was good - they have the players for that. 

on Xhaka playing at centre back and what he brings to the role…
Every player is helping us with big commitments, playing in different positions, because sometimes the team needs them there. Laurent Koscielny played on Sunday and after coming back from his injury, starting against Tottenham would have been a lot of minutes on the pitch. Granit is helping and I am happy with him and his performance. His commitment to help us is very important..

Press conference

Emery’s press conference: Every word

A reflective Unai Emery spoke to the media after we were beaten by Tottenham Hotspur in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night.

Our head coach discussed a variety of topics, including the game, Granit Xhaka’s versatility and why Mesut Ozil didn’t feature.

Read on for a full transcript: 

on the result…
Good evening. I think we worked like we wanted to, like we’d prepared for this match. We created chances in the first half to score, but today the efficiency was not good for us. We didn’t concede a lot of chances, but they have good players with quality who scored. We worked for 90 minutes and in our moments we didn’t take our chances. They scored theirs. Only the first half, I think we were good on the pitch but then sometimes we needed a bit more of the ball to keep possession longer. But that’s not easy against them because they press really well. Our planned game, we worked on that. It was poor finishing.

on if poor finishing or tiredness cost us…
The first one. We had Micki with the one on one [chance early on] and they scored with their first one-on-one. but this is football. Today I am happy with our performance, but not happy with our result. But also I think we are doing our process. They are ahead of us in this process. We need to continue creating our identity, our strong ideas to be more consistent in the games. But this is our way. Now we’ve finished in this competition and are thinking about Saturday because we have another three very important competitions, the first is the Premier League, then the Europa League and also the FA Cup. Today we finished this competition. 

on whether there was a problem with a high line…
For the second goal we were pushing and playing with some risk on the pitch because we needed to create chances to score. We were having a lot of attacking moments, which meant they could score from one transition. Their efficiency was good - they have the players for that. 

on Xhaka playing at centre back and what he brings to the role…
Every player is helping us with big commitments, playing in different positions, because sometimes the team needs them there. Laurent Koscielny played on Sunday and after coming back from his injury, starting against Tottenham would have been a lot of minutes on the pitch. Granit is helping and I am happy with him and his performance. His commitment to help us is very important.

on Mesut Ozil...
It’s a tactical decision because I thought that the players that were with us today were the best choices for this match.

on if Ozil was at the Emirates for the game…
Yes.

on how he reacted…
We are thinking of every player. We have 24 or 25 players and when they are playing one game and not in another, it’s the decision. Today it was tactical.

on whether he would let him go in January…
My focus now is analysing this match and also Saturday against Burnley is very important. We are going to assess every player, how they are tomorrow in training and for a difficult match against Burnley on Saturday.

on whether Ozil has a future here…
I am thinking about the match on Saturday, and not thinking about another situation.

on Ozil being a big player…
Every player is a big player. Every player. I decided not to play him. It’s only a tactical decision.

on Dele Alli being hit by a bottle…
I didn’t see, I didn’t see the action. I didn’t see it but I think the atmosphere was good. I didn’t see this.

on whether there’s a place for fans who throw things onto the pitch…
If it’s one situation like that, that you said to me, it’s not good behaviour.

Club statement

Arsenal statement: incident v Tottenham

Arsenal corner flag

We have all been embarrassed by the individual who threw a bottle at Dele Alli during Wednesday night's match against Tottenham Hotspur.

Behaviour of this type has no place at Emirates Stadium and after analysing CCTV footage, which showed him leaving the stadium after throwing the bottle, we have identified an image of the suspect. We are liaising with the Metropolitan Police and investigations continue in order to apprehend the culprit.
 
We are not responsible for the actions of one individual, but send our apologies to Dele Alli and everyone at Tottenham Hotspur for this incident.
 
We do not tolerate any anti-social, discriminatory or violent behaviour at Arsenal Football Club. Anyone identified will receive a lengthy club ban and their details will be passed to the police to commence legal proceedings.

Video

Match video: Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur

Our Carabao Cup campaign came to an end on Wednesday night, as goals either side of half-time from Heung-min Son and Dele Alli consigned us to defeat against Tottenham.

Son gave the visitors the lead after 20 minutes - by that point Henrikh Mkhitaryan had seen a golden chance kept out by Paulo Gazzaniga.

We responded well - Aaron Ramsey saw a volley tipped onto the post by Gazzzaniga, and Sokratis went close with a header - but couldn’t equalise before half-time.

Alli extended the advantage after the break and, though substitute Alex Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit the post and bar respectively, there was no way back for us.

To watch the goals from the game, press ‘Play’. Alternatively, you’ll find extended match footage and the full match replay below.

Press conference

Emery on why Ozil didn’t feature in Carabao Cup

Mesut Ozil came on as a substitute against Southampton on Sunday - but the German was not part of our matchday squad when we hosted Tottenham Hotspur in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night.

After the match, Unai Emery explained Ozil’s absence. Here’s what he said:

on Mesut Ozil absence…
It’s a tactical decision because I thought that the players that were with us today were the best choices for this match.

on if Ozil was at the Emirates for the game…
Yes.

on how he reacted to not playing…
We are thinking of every player. We have 24 or 25 players and when they are playing one game and not in another, it’s the decision. Today it was tactical.

on whether he would let Ozil go in January…
My focus now is analysing this match and also Saturday against Burnley is very important. We are going to assess every player, how they are tomorrow in training and for a difficult match against Burnley on Saturday.

on whether Ozil has a future at Arsenal…
I am thinking about the match on Saturday, and not thinking about another situation.

Post-Match Report

Arsenal 0-2 Tottenham: How it happened

Aaron Ramsey battles for possession against Tottenham

WHAT HAPPENED

Our Carabao Cup campaign is over for another season.

We were twice undone by long balls over the top - once in each half - on a night where Tottenham's clinical finishing proved the difference.

We hit the woodwork three times, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan spurned a good early chance, on a frustrating evening at Emirates Stadium.

The team had made a bright start with Alex Iwobi and Aaron Ramsey looking to run at the visiting defence.

We had the best chance of the opening 15 minutes too, and should really have taken the lead. Mkhitaryan raced clear into the box, running on to a Ramsey flick, but fired straight at Paulo Gazzaniga when under little pressure.

We were made to pay shortly afterwards. A long ball over the top was diverted into the path of Heung-Min Son, who finished when one on one with Cech. VAR replays confirmed he was just onside.

Tottenham were looking dangerous when they broke - Sissoko blazed over at the end of one attack - but we had the better chances at the end of the half.

Ramsey volleyed against the near post and Sokratis headed wide from a deep corner, but we couldn't make the pressure tell before the interval.

Unai Emery changed the shape of the team in the second half, bring on Laurent Koscielny as part of a back three.

Granit Xhaka fired a free-kick over the bar but Spurs doubled their lead on the hour. This time Dele Alli was sent through on goal, just onside again, before lifting the ball over Cech.

Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah were summoned from the bench and the former squirmed a shot against the post after good work from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Aubameyang also saw a cross hit the bar but that was as good as it got on a forgettable night at Emirates Stadium.

HOW IT HAPPENED

To see a play by play summary of the quarter-final tie, click here

WHAT IT MEANS

Our Carabao Cup campaign is over for another season, attention immediately switches back to the Premier League.

WHAT'S NEXT

It's back to the Premier League this weekend, for a 12.30pm kick-off against Burnley at Emirates Stadium – the first of four league games in an 11-day spell over Christmas and New Year.

Our upcoming fixtures

Our upcoming fixtures