Belfast Telegraph

Aubameyang is head over heels after Arsenal win

 

High point: Arsenal ace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates his winner against Watford at Vicarage Road
High point: Arsenal ace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates his winner against Watford at Vicarage Road

By Robert Jones

Arsenal moved back into the top four of the Premier League last night with a win over Watford but they didn't have it all their own way despite playing against 10 men for most of the match.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the match winner at Vicarage Road while Troy Deeney was sent off for the Hornets after 11 minutes.

Aubameyang said: "It feels good tonight because we know that away it is always difficult for us but today we did a great job and everybody fought to have the three points and tonight we are really happy.

"We knew that it would be a tough game and I think everybody knows that the target for us this season was to get in the top four."

Aubameyang continued: “We knew that this game was really important for us to stay in the competition for the top four and everybody fought. We did a great job.

“These three points give us a lot of confidence because now we know we can win games away. We have two more games at home. It’s great to take three points home with this victory.”

Aubameyang’s effort was his 18th league strike this season and he sits just one goal behind Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero and Mohamed Salah of Liverpool.

He added: “I was confident. I’ve wanted to score like this for a long time and tonight it went through.

“Normally keepers don’t really know if you’re coming back to them and tonight it was a good goal for me. I liked it.

“I feel confident (to battle against Salah and Aguero) and the race is going on. I know it’s a tough battle but I’m confident and I will carry on.”

It was Arsenal’s first away clean sheet in the league this season and manager Unai Emery said: “The three points for our push in the table are very important, to be in the top four. After this, we can analyse this match. It was very important for us to go in one direction.

“We can control the match better and attack better with our players and the second half, we didn’t score the second goal with good chances. We can attack the final third better.

“In 90 minutes, a lot of things happen. I wanted to control the match better, control the match and then find a second goal, but we are very happy with the result.

“Watford like to push on a lot and they work it very well. Despite the result, over the 90 minutes we can do better. But we need the same spirit.”

Hornets boss Javi Gracia said: “I only have one feeling — I’m very proud of my team. We did everything to win.

“We conceded an early goal but afterwards, we showed our ambition and our character and tried to create chances playing against Arsenal with 10 players, many, many times. We created chances until the end.

“It was a good performance but we played a lot of time with 10 players.”

On Deeney’s sending off, Gracia added: “I respect the referee’s decision — and in this case — I respect it as well but I don’t agree. In my opinion it was maybe a yellow card, but never a red.

“I don’t want to speak only on that. I prefer to speak about my players and today they have to have their recognition because, it’s true, we didn’t get a point, but we put in a good performance and kept playing with the same ambition and the same desire all game.”

Watford goalkeeper Foster apologised for his error, which led to the only goal. He said afterwards: “We’re absolutely gutted in there. I’ve said I’m sorry to the lads and sorry to the fans.

“I thought we were the better team. We were the ones really pushing for it but they were just happy to hit us on the counter attack.

“I tried to just drag it onto my left and hit it out wide and before I know it, he’s on me. God, he’s fast. Fair play to him, he’s absolutely rapid. It’s a good goal to be honest with you.”

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