Unai Emery admitted that Arsenal’s win over Vitoria Guimaraes was a learning curve for their fringe players.
2-1 down at half-time, Arsenal could have been heading for a defeat, but Nicolas Pepe came on to score two amazing free kicks to earn them the win.
Emery told BT Sport: “Our aim in this competition is to top the group. Each match is a chance to use different players and grow experience and little by little get better. We didn’t play like we wanted but we showed good spirit. It’s a good victory.
“We have more information for the away game and for different players it was good to play tonight.
“Some players need experience and playing sometimes under pressure at this level. In the first half we didn’t play or control the match as we wanted and we were losing so with the substitutions we wanted to take control and impose more. We didn’t play offensively like we wanted but again the players showed good spirit to come back after the first half.
“It’s important for Pepe. He can gain confidence from tonight. When he scores it’s good for him and the team. He’s getting better and he helped us tonight to win this match.”