Emery names area Arsenal must improve amid grim Holding update

Date published: Thursday 6th December 2018 9:16

Unai Emery called on his Arsenal side to improve their defensive qualities – but admits they will likely have to do so without Rob Holding, who he fears has a “big injury”.

The Gunners twice led at Old Trafford on Wednesday night as Manchester United fought back to claim a 2-2 draw, with Shkodran Mustafi and Alexandre Lacazette seeing their efforts quickly pegged back by Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard.

The Arsenal boss felt his side were unfortunate not to come away from Old Trafford with three points for the first time since 2006 in the Premier League.

He said: “I am very proud for our work and how we responded in the 90 minutes. When we are winning it was a good moment but they equalised very quickly then we got up after their two goals.

“In the second half our players worked to find a way to win. I think we were close, more than them, to do the third goal but [David] De Gea saved two or three times with good action.”

Discussing their defensive shortcomings, Emery told BBC Sport: “I think we controlled the game, the second half better than the first. We could have won this match in certain moments, but they equalised very quickly after both our goals.

“We need to improve defensively, but we need to have balance and not lose our attacking chances.

“We perhaps lost a bit of control there but we created lots of chances after 2-2 and I am very proud of our performance. We wanted to win but we can feel this point is good.

“Sead Kolasinac came off with his head down but I said to him he had a very good match in attack and you have to be positive and learn from this match.”

Holding now looks set for an extended period on the sidelines, with Emery commenting: “It’s the worst for us today. Rob Holding, we are going to wait for the doctor but maybe it’s a big injury.”

Diogo Dalot, Sead Kolasinac TEAMtalk

Aaron Ramsey also had to be replaced but Emery was more unconcerned by it.

“Ramsey I think is a small injury but they showed us that afterwards every player responded with a good quality.”

Arsenal, meanwhile, have played down fears over Laurent Koscielny’s return to action after he limped out of the Checkatrade Trophy clash at Portsmouth on Tuesday night.


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