Arsenal star Lucas Torreira gives Unai Emery the last laugh after ‘hippy crack’ fiasco | Football | Sport
Emery spoke at the end of a week in which his stars were pictured appearing to puff from nitrous-oxide filled balloons – but he finished on a high as Arsenal stretched their unbeaten run to 21 games.
He said: “Maybe you’re speaking about the problem outside here – but for me, the club, and outside, we can speak about it with no distraction.
“I don’t want any distraction and today the players are focused on the match. We deserved to win. I can’t tell you if I have spoken to the players yet.”
Hippy crack? More like hip, hip hooray as Torreira gave Arsenal the kind of high you can’t complain about – as he struck seven minutes from time to stretch their unbeaten run to 21 games.
But it was hard work as battling Huddersfield belied their own plight to make them fight every inch of the way.
The Gunners only won because of Torreira’s fighting qualities and the fact the visitors didn’t have a striker to finish off their many fine moves.
Thanks to Torreira they did. He settled a nerve-wracking game when he scissor-kicked home in spectacular style after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fought hard to turn Matteo Guendouzi’s pass into his path.
Arsenal boss Unai Emery said: “I am delighted for Torreira. Last week he scored and today also.
“He has quality and his interpretation on the pitch tactically and in attacking and defensive moments he is very fast in his mind. He showed that today and in the way he got into the box to score.”
Huddersfield certainly made a fist of it. Seven players were booked in a raw, no-holds barred first half, with Arsenal being the main culprits.
Arsenal needed a five-star show after the headlines but were often left frustrated by Huddersfield’s determination to defend.
Emery added: “It was a tough match, like many matches, and today it is important because we didn’t have rhythm but still won. I’m very happy with the result.
“It was hard for us to control the match but patience is the key word today. I wanted us to win more quickly but we needed to be patient.
“Today is a very important result. We wanted a bigger win but they stopped about nine minutes this rhythm, a lot of cards, fouls and time lost and we needed patience and we needed to win by waiting for our moment – and the moment came for us in the end.”
Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette wasted golden chances before the latter finally put the ball into the net on 45 minutes – only for the effort to be ruled offside.
It was the last of his action as he was subbed. Emery is not afraid of tough decisions – as proven with his handling of Mesut Ozil.
On song, there’s no midfield player finer, but he also had too many away days and former manager Arsene Wenger indulged him.
Emery is made of sterner stuff and it’s no surprise he does not fit into his high-octane system, where he likes his teams to press high, looking to win the ball quickly.
It’s all about intensity and these are not Ozil’s strengths.
Arsenal have now won 17 of their last 18 league matches which kicked off at 3pm on a Saturday
Although, it would be somewhat typical if they slipped up in this sort of game having come through stiffer tests impressively.
The Terriers, after collecting seven points from nine in a recent good run, have now crashed back to earth – but you would never call them natural relegation fodder on this showing.
Their manager David Wagner said: “I was pleased we limited Arsenal to so few chances. We deserved a point. Obviously I am disappointed, but we chased a top-class side and we can keep our heads high.”