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Arsenal Labor Past 10-man Watford To Return To Top Four

arsenal
[Courtesy]

Arsenal are back to top four in the Premier League standings following a hard fought 1-0 win at 10-man Watford on Monday night.

Goalkeeper Foster gifted the Gunners an opening goal after 10 minutes when he took too long on the ball after collecting a back pass, allowing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to charge down his clearance and deflect the ball in.

Just a minute later, Watford captain Deeney was sent off for throwing his forearm into the face of Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira in a late challenge.

Despite playing with 10 men for 80 minutes, Watford offered the far greater threat, hitting the bar through Adam Masina’s powerful drive from distance in the second half, and forcing Arsenal goalkeeper Bernard Leno into a number of excellent saves.

The victory saw the Londoners zoom past Chelsea to fourth on the log with a game to spare.

Arsenal boss Unai Emery was delighted his charges kept a clean sheet away.

“We were competitive today but in the circumstances we can control the match better. We didn’t make it easy to score the second goal. We did not control the ball in the attacking third.

“When it is 1-0 they have chances, their moments. Mostly they attack with set-pieces. This three points is very important in the table.

“A clean sheet is very important. It is going to give us a lot of information, this match. Our analysis will give us confidence. For some players like Konstantinos Mavropanos it is good, to play some minutes and give other players some rest for Thursday. It is a different competition, we have a two-goal advantage against Napoli but it is going to be very difficult.”

arsenal
[Courtesy]

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His equal opposite Javi Gracia said he was proud of his team but questioned the red card.

“I only have one feeling. Today I am very proud of my players. We did everything to win. We showed our ambition and character. We tried to create chances, playing with 10 players. We had our chances. It was a good performance. But we have played a lot of time with 10.

“I respect the referee’s decision, but I don’t agree (on Deeney’s red card). In my opinion it is a yellow card but never a red. I can’t explain what the referee saw to make that decision. It was an important one. I prefer to speak about my players who today deserve the recognition. We don’t get points but we had a good performance and we keep playing with the same ambition and desire.

“We tried to keep being compact in the middle with two lines of four and Andre up front. In all the different moments of the game we were compact and defending well and looking for chances.

“Ben Foster and all the players deserve credit. Without exception they are very good players with high commitment. We are in this position to achieve seventh because of them.”

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Bonface Osano

Written by Bonface Osano

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