Unai Emery 'very proud' as Arsenal keep top four finish in their sights

Press Association Sport 23:35 09/02/2019
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Arsenal boss Unai Emery insisted a top-four finish was a realistic target after his side’s 2-1 win at bottom club Huddersfield.

Alex Iwobi and Alexandre Lacazette struck in the first half, and despite Sead Kolasinac’s stoppage-time own goal, Arsenal secured their first away win since November.

“It was very important to win, to be closer to the top four and our target is this,” Emery said.

“After 26 games there is a one-point difference between us and Manchester United.

“If we ask is it difficult for us, I think it’s difficult, but we can. After 26 games we are on our way and our motivation is very great and we’ve brought our target closer.

“I am very happy. We were working well. Every player was working and helping each other and today I’m very proud with our work.”

Arsenal are two places below United and level on points with fifth-placed Chelsea, who play at Manchester City on Sunday.

But a clean sheet on the road eluded Arsenal and they remain the only Premier League side not to have kept one this season.

Kolasinac’s late own goal was accredited to the Bosnian defender after Adama Diakhaby’s shot appeared to hit him before crossing the goalline.

“A clean sheet is important, but our main worry is to win,” Emery said. “The main thing is to score one more goal than them and after that it is to keep a clean sheet.

“Every player worked very well and the last action, unfortunately for us, they scored and also, maybe they deserved it.”

Huddersfield slipped to their 12th defeat in 13 league matches and remain 13 points adrift of safety.

But the Terriers turned in another spirited display. The killer final ball in and around the penalty area continued to elude them, but they created chances and with a little bit more luck could have rescued a point.

“I totally agree,” said Huddersfield manager Jan Siewert. “We gave everything today. The way we played makes me so proud.

“Each player in the squad showed everyone that we wanted this win. At half-time we were 2-0 down and said we wanted to win the second half for the people who came here.

“To be honest I will fight until the end with my lads to stay in the Premier League and this makes me proud of the supporters.”

Town’s goal – even if off Kolasinac – was their first in six matches, highlighting their major problem this season.

“The most important thing for me is to continue what we are doing,” Siewert added. “We played against a very good team today and created so many chances.

“For me as a manager, the fight comes first and then the luck comes back. We are improving in our work and we will get our results.”

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