Arsenal do dirty work in victory against Huddersfield but still can’t keep a clean sheet
- Arsenal remain in touch with Champions League places after victory
- Unai Emery is confident that the Gunners are heading in the right direction
- However, the Gunners have just one away league clean sheet in 14 months
Jack Gaughan for the Daily Mail
Unai Emery had this down as a good day, and in a sense it was. Arsenal remain in touch with the Champions League places and avoided any embarrassment.
Yet they left West Yorkshire having had less of the ball, taken fewer shots and having looked vulnerable at the back in the final moments. The wait for an away clean sheet goes on, the last coming on the final day of last season.
In fact, it is just one Premier League shut-out in 14 months. Emery has clearly not corrected the ills he inherited, despite tinkering with formations and personnel.
Alex Iwobi scored but it was far from a vintage display for Arsenal against Huddersfield
Goalkeeper Bernd Leno, who did not know of Arsenal’s lack of a clean sheet when asked, admitted: ‘We have conceded goals too easily. Sometimes it happens at the end of games — Cardiff at the end, Newcastle at the end and now Huddersfield at the end.
‘It always seems to happen when we are two goals in front, so maybe we are losing a little bit of concentration. We have to work on this because for me the defence is the most important thing to enable us to get back into the top four.’
Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno admitted that his team sometimes lose concentration
Leno played well, making a number of decent stops to preserve what was a two-goal advantage, after first-half strikes from Alex Iwobi and Alexandre Lacazette, before Sead Kolasinac bundled into his own net in added time.
Huddersfield striker Karlan Grant, who cost about £2million from Charlton last month, is claiming the goal, Hudderfield’s first since January 2.
‘Every time I come on the pitch I get a buzz,’ Grant said after his second appearance. ‘I just want to get on the ball. Hopefully I can make an impact. I’m an Arsenal fan so it was a great experience to face them. It is just a shame that the game did not go on for another 10 minutes.’
Unai Emery believes that his Arsenal side are heading in the right direction
Emery believes his side are heading in the right direction, even though this was nowhere near vintage. He can point to absentees, most noticeably Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Hector Bellerin now that Mesut Ozil’s relevance diminishes with each passing week.
There remains a feeling that his players are still attempting to work out exactly how their manager wants to play.
‘Each training session is a big challenge,’ Emery said.
‘The most important thing is in the head. You are thinking, to create, little by little, one team feeling and spirit.
‘This is one process. It is not finished. It is not starting now. We can improve a lot.’