Emery: Strikers need to improve their finishing

Arsenal forwards were wasteful in Chelsea clash until Alexandre Lacazette provided equaliser at the death.

Emery: Strikers need to improve their finishing
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal during the Pre-season friendly between Arsenal and Chelsea on August 1, 2018 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal manager Unai Emery says he has some 'very, very good' strikers at his disposal but admits he wants them to work on their finishing after some glorious chances went begging in the Gunners' penalty shoot-out victory against Chelsea.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the first culprit, failing to convert Henrikh Mkhitaryan's driven ball with the goal gaping just after the half-hour mark. 

Later, with fifteen minutes remaining, substitute Alexandre Lacazette beat his man and raced through, only to roll the ball agonisingly past the far-post. The Frenchman would concede after the match that he should have scored.

Ultimately, though, he made amends by reacting quickly to turn in Reiss Nelson's cross with mere seconds remaining. 

'We want to continue improving'

Emery was relieved to see his side finally take one of their many chances and was very satisfied with how his strikers were fashioning the opportunities but suggested that they will need to be more clinical.

"I am very happy with their positioning off the ball and breaking the opposition's lines," he told the press. "Then for the finishing, we want to continue on improving that.

"But we have very, very good strikers in Lacazette, Aubameyang and Nketiah. For me, the best situation tonight is that our striker took his chance tonight and grabbed the goal."

Ramsey injury minor, but speculation rumbles on

Aaron Ramsey was supposed to start against Arsenal's Premier League rivals but was withdrawn after picking a calf injury during the warm-up.

Emery played down the extent of the problem, but says he will have to wait for a medical assessment to discover whether the injury which forced off Sead Kolasinac is anything serious. 

"It's clear that the problems tonight were Aaron Ramsey – but that's not a big issue – and then Kolasinac because he's injured his leg," he said. We're waiting for the medical analysis to find out what this injury is."

The manager also fielded questions about Ramsey's contract situation, but he insisted his full focus was on finalising his preparations for the new season.

"It's one question for the club and another for the player," the 46-year-old said. "I am very, very concentrated and my focus is thinking everyday about the training, the players and the match on Saturday against Lazio, and then against Manchester City.

"I think my opinion is clear, I want him to be with us, but then it’s one question for the player and the club. My opinion is professional and is in the interest of the team."

Emery waiting for market opportunities

Arsenal have strongly been linked with Sevilla's defensive midfielder Steven N'Zonzi but with only a week of the transfer window remaining, Emery insists he is happy with his current options and will delve back into the market only if an exciting opportunity presents itself.

"At the moment I’m very happy with the players that are here with us," he stressed. "We also have others still to come, like Nacho Monreal, Lucas and Xhaka, who will start to get minutes on Saturday [against Lazio].

"I am telling you that we’re speaking inside and we are OK. There is only a possibility that we sign someone if it’s a good opportunity."