Unai Emery pleased to see Arsenal 'suffer' for Europa League victory over Qarabag

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Arsenal head coach Unai Emery admitted his side “suffered” en route to Europa League victory against Qarabag – but insists he would not have it any other way.

The Gunners secured a flattering 3-0 win in Baku as Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Emile Smith Rowe and Matteo Guendouzi all scored their first goals for the club.

But Qarabag put up a fight, particularly in the first-half, and will feel the final scoreline was harsh on them for what was a spirited display.

It seemed set to be a simple evening for Arsenal when Sokratis turned home from close range after four minutes but they were then rattled by Qarabag, who found Bernd Leno in good form in the visitors’ goal.

Smith Rowe, 18, coolly tucked away his maiden senior goal to double the lead before Guendouzi wrapped up the three points with a fine late strike.

“I think we suffered in the match – but I want to suffer,” Emery said after securing an eighth consecutive wins in all competitions.

“I want to not find easy matches, like today. Then, in our moments, to show you and show them our possibilities, our quality and our organised moments. I think in the 90 minutes today, the team worked very well.

“Each match for us is not easy. Firstly, because when we are playing away, we are playing against a good team like Qarabag today. Good players also and with a very great ambition and excited to play against us.”

While all three goalscorers had added reason to celebrate their efforts, Smith Rowe’s strike in particular would have pleased everyone involved with Arsenal.

A product of the club’s academy, he started last week’s Carabao Cup victory over Brentford but looked nervy, here he showed his potential to leave Emery pleased with his efforts.

“In pre-season, Emile Smith Rowe worked very well with us. He knows how we want to play and he is very humble to continue improving and progressing with us and in every training and match, like today.

“A little bit of all the qualities he has: physical, mentality and quality with his right foot. Working in combinations with other players.”

Qarabag coach Gurban Gurbanov spoke on the eve of the game about wanting to see his players make their fans happy and put in their best.

He certainly got the latter, and was pleased with the effort of his squad, albeit to lose to a team of superior quality.

“I am pleased with the game of my players,” he said.

“They were not afraid of the eminent opponent and created a lot of scoring chances. Arsenal simply surpassed us in skill.”

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Maurizio Sarri hopes to see more tears from Alvaro Morata after Chelsea striker nets winner

Matt McGeehan 5/10/2018
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Maurizio Sarri wants to see tears from Alvaro Morata after the striker’s winner in Chelsea‘s 1-0 Europa League victory over Hungarian champions Vidi on Thursday night.

Morata missed a host of chances in the opening Group L win at PAOK in Greece two weeks ago and spurned a glorious opportunity in the first half at Stamford Bridge.

Sarri praised an improved all-round display from the 25-year-old, recalled into the Spain squad earlier on Thursday, which was capped by the winner 20 minutes from time and an emotional celebration.

“If after a goal he wants to cry, I hope to see him cry very often,” the Chelsea head coach said.

“It’s very important for him to score. I think it’s very important for him to play a very good match. He played a very good match.

“It’s very important for him to play for the team, like this evening. I think Alvaro can restart from this performance.”

It was just Morata’s second goal of the season – his first was in August’s Premier League defeat of Arsenal – and Sarri reiterated the striker’s importance to the team.

“At the moment we have Alvaro and (Olivier) Giroud, but we have to play every three days for a long time, I think, I hope,” Sarri added.

“And so he’s a very important player for us, for our season.”

Chelsea were wasteful in front of goal for a second successive Europa League game, but Sarri was more concerned by the chances presented to Vidi.

He added: “We have created a lot of goal opportunities but we have conceded two, three opportunities to the opponents.

“I am not worried if we don’t score for 45 minutes. I was not happy, but I think it can happen. I was worried about the fact that we have conceded three goal opportunities to the opponent, for our mistakes.”

For Vidi it was a second loss, after an opening defeat to Chelsea’s next opponents BATE Borisov of Belarus.

Vidi boss Marko Nikolic had “mixed feelings”, expressing pride at his side’s performance but frustration at a failure to upset the Blues.

Nikolic said: “I have mixed feelings. I tried to introduce our team (at the pre-match media conference) that we are a warrior team, that we would try to compete here against Chelsea.

“I want to congratulate my players and say they played a very good match.

“We missed too many chances in a match like this, an away match against Chelsea.”

Gary Cahill was fortunate not to concede a first-half foul and a potential red card for a challenge on the edge of the Chelsea area.

“It was a questionable decision for sure,” Nikolic said.

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Unai Emery praises Emile Smith Rowe as teenager scores in Arsenal win at Qarabag

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Emile Smith Rowe scored in Arsenal win at Qarabag

Unai Emery praised the mentality of Emile Smith Rowe as the teenager scored his maiden Arsenal goal in their Europa League win at Qarabag.

The Gunners secured a flattering 3-0 win in Baku as Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Smith Rowe and Matteo Guendouzi all scored their first goals for the club.

Qarabag put up a fight, particularly in the first-half, and will feel the final scoreline was harsh on them for what was a spirited display.

It seemed set to be a simple evening for Arsenal when Sokratis turned home from close-range on four minutes but they were then rattled by Qarabag, who found Bernd Leno in good form in the visitors’ goal.

Smith Rowe, 18, coolly tucked away his maiden senior goal to double the lead before Guendouzi wrapped up the three points with a fine late strike.

While all three goalscorers had added reason to celebrate their efforts, Smith Rowe’s strike in particular would have pleased everyone involved with Arsenal.

A product of the club’s academy, he was taken on the pre-season tour of Singapore by Emery and opted against going out on loan to try and earn minutes in the Spaniard’s side.

He started last week’s Carabao Cup victory over Brentford but looked nervy, whereas here he showed his potential to leave Emery pleased with his efforts.

“In pre-season, Emile Smith Rowe worked very well with us,” Emery said. “He knows how we want to play and he is very humble to continue improving and progressing with us and in every training and match, like today.

“A little bit of all the qualities he has: physical, mentality and quality with his right foot. Working in combinations with other players.

“If I can say one condition, for me, it’s his mentality. He is humble and he is humble to listen every day in training, in the video analysis and also before the match to continue improving and to keep taking one step more, like today.

“The last matches he played, for example against Brentford, he had three actions in the opposition boxes and didn’t score. But today, he had two and one was a goal.

“I think this is one step more for him. I prefer to not speak a lot about him, because I think it’s best for him to continue to be humble and continue working in every match to keep his feet on the ground.”

Emery admitted his side “suffered” for periods of the game in the Baku Olympic Stadium – but insisted he would not have it any other way.

“I think we suffered in the match – but I want to suffer,” Emery said after securing an eighth consecutive win in all competitions.

“I want to not find easy matches, like today. Then, in our moments, to show you and show them our possibilities, our quality and our organised moments. I think in the 90 minutes today, the team worked very well.”

Qarabag coach Gurban Gurbanov spoke on the eve of the game about wanting to see his players make their fans happy and put in their best.

He certainly got the latter, and was pleased with the effort of his squad, albeit to lose to a team of superior quality.

“I am pleased with the game of my players,” he said.

“They were not afraid of the eminent opponent and created a lot of scoring chances. Arsenal simply surpassed us in skill.”

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