By 90Min
August 18, 2019

Arsenal manager Unai Emery sais his side struggled at times to adapt to Burnley's physical approach to their match on Saturday, but stressed the Gunners can be happy with their overall performance in the 2-1 victory.

Goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang either side of Ashley Barnes' close-range effort proved to be decisive at Emirates Stadium, with Arsenal picking up maximum points from their opening two games for the first time since 2009.

Emery was full of praise for his side for getting over the line, even though he admitted Arsenal struggled to deal with Burnley's tactics over a consistent basis on matchday two.

Emery on Burnley's Game Plan


"Their structure and game plan is very strong, we needed to adapt to that," Emery said, quoted by LancsLive. "After we needed to impose our capacity, quality, skills and structure. I think we did that.

"Really we can be happy. I think our idea, our game plan on the pitch was knowing it's going to be tough. We needed to adapt to their game plan: long ball, second actions, their pushing and high pressing. We had to enforce our gameplan.

"We won in our moments where we did the difference for 2-1. In a lot of moments, we couldn't impose our game plan because they pushed and their game plan was a struggle for us."

Emery on Dani Ceballos

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On his first competitive appearance at the Emirates, Ceballos proved the match winner, picking up two assists for his new club, and Emery has revealed he talked to his compatriot about the position he would play ahead of his loan move to north London.

He stated, via Arsenal's website: "With him, it's for us to use his qualities in the best position in our team with our ideas. 

"I spoke with him - before coming here - to play like an eight and a ten. Today he started like a ten, but a lot of times he was changing with Willock into the eight position, where he can feel better on the pitch."

If Ceballos can keep delivering these kind of performances, Arsenal may have found the creative spark to replace the departed Aaron Ramsey and the unreliable Mesut Ozil.

Emery on Team Selection for Liverpool

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After two wins on the bounce, Arsenal's next test comes on the road to Liverpool next week, with Jürgen Klopp's side the only team sitting ahead of Emery's at the close of play on Saturday.

When pressed on what team he would field against the Champions League winners, Emery responded: "One thing we wanted to improve is to be competitive in each position in the squad and also to take different possibilities. For example, today Xhaka is out, also Mesut is out, Rob Holding is out and Hector Bellerin too. 

"We had different options for a bigger performance. When every player is good to play, that's perfect. But the way is long, the season is long, they are coming with different issues and different circumstances for each player, with injuries. 

"Last year for example, I think we lost some points in some moments when we didn't have different possibilities for some matches. We lost in those moments. This year I prefer to have on the bench some important players but really, really with the possibility to be with a good impact after. I think the team is going to be more competitive. That's my idea."

Plenty to ponder for next week then, Unai...

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