Take it to the break. That’s the thinking behind Unai Emery’s tactics as he takes his in-form Arsenal side into Sunday’s Premier League clash with Crystal palace at Selhurst Park.
The Gunners boss watched striker Danny Welbeck nab the winner in the 77th minute to hand the north London outfit a 1-0 win in Portugal last night to record a slender triumph over Sporting Lisbon in Group E of the Europa League.
The victory extended Arsenal’s winning streak to eleven matches and they now face the Eagles looking to maintain their form and if they can chalk up a win they will go into the following week with an eye on the all-time record of 14 wins on the trot.
Arsenal host Blackpool in the League Cup on Wednesday before welcoming rampant Liverpool to the Emirates for a mouth-watering prospect of a game on Saturday at tea-time.
And Emery has revealed that he tells his charges that half-time is the pivotal break that allows him to assess where his side can improve for the second period — and it very much seems to be working.
The Spanish coach, who took charge of the Gunners in the summer replacing the legendary long-serving manager Arsene Wenger, said:
“I am told we are three short of the all-time record? Three matches. They are a lot of matches. We are thinking only of the next one against Crystal Palace and also to enjoy each moment with our supporters.
“We are thinking three points in Crystal Palace but it is very difficult to win there. For us to continue to win we want that but we know we can lose at any moment.
“We spoke about this before the match. One objective is this. Most important is the dressing room at half time. We cannot impose our game in first 45 minutes but we have opportunity to change the result in second half and think only of winning this match and improving things. We did that. We need to continue finding the solution for the first half to be better.”
The win in Portugal came after a scintillating display in a 3-1 victory over Leicester City at the Emirates to take Emery’s men to fourth in the top-flight league table.
Mesut Ozil was at his instrumental best in the triumph and he has spoken of his belief in taking up a central attacking role being best for team harmony, despite being used all over the final third of the pitch so far this term.
“I think my best position is as a No 10 but at the end of the day I have to accept and respect what the coach decides. I have to give everything I can on the right side but for me it is not my best position. It is new for me but it is fun as well. especially with the goals and I will continue to give my best on that side.”