Unai Emery praises Gunners' character after 3-2 victory over Cardiff City
Photo: Clive Rose

Unai Emery praises Gunners' character after 3-2 victory over Cardiff City

Arsenal had to work hard for their first away win of the season despite dominating large periods of the game.

Jordan Owusu-Adu

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery praised his players’ character after they were pegged back twice by Cardiff City before Alexandre Lacazette’s 81st minute winner.

Shkodran Mustafi’s bullet header gave the Gunners an early lead, but Cardiff’s Victor Camarasa levelled the scoring seconds before half-time.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s first goal of the season restored Arsenal’s lead, but Danny Ward got the next goal to bring the Bluebirds back into the game. It was Lacazette however who ended the scoring giving Emery his first away Premier League win.

Positive reactions please boss

“The reaction was very important. We have done it in each match, and today it was the same,” Emery said after the game.

“I think the reaction was very good for continuing with our personality. The most important was to be calm and continue working.”

Despite the positive result, the Spaniard conceded there are still areas to improve.

“They found chances and options in the match to score with their attacking movements, and we need to continue to improve in our defensive movements. 

“Also in our box, not conceding these chances to the opposition. Cardiff had strong moments but before that, I think we controlled the match. With this way, we won.”

Pair show they can play together  

Sunday’s win in Wales saw Aubameyang and Lacazette both in the starting eleven for the first time this season, and the two linked up for the Gunners’ second goal. 

Speaking about their performances, Emery said: “We are continuing working on the combination on the pitch between the players, and also keeping our mentality and our ideas. Today I think the performance of the two players, with their goals, helped us.”

On Lacazette specifically, Emery continued: “I spoke with him because I knew him at Lyon. I know he has a great capacity to score when he’s in the box and when the team give him good chances. He has very good scoring data and today he showed us.”

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Perseverance key

One part of Arsenal’s game that is keeping their fans on the edge of their seat is playing the ball out from the back, with a few nervous moments for 'keeper Petr Cech occurring during Sunday’s win. 

When asked whether he was confident in Cech’s ability to play with this style, Emery said: “He’s progressing. He has experience and he is intelligent and he is doing what we want to do to win with our jobs and work on the pitch. 

“If you play every time long balls, you lose possession and momentum. We take risks in moments of the match, but when you break their pressing on the pitch you can find space for attacking the opposition."

Emery concluded: “It’s clear you can maybe do one mistake like today and one action, but we need to continue with this personality.”