Unai Emery admits ‘I can do better’ as Arsenal salvage draw

‘We know, and I know, that we need to connect with our supporters’

Arsenal’s French striker Alexandre Lacazette runs back after scoring their late equaliser during the  Premier League game against Southampton at the Emirates stadium. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP via Getty Images

Arsenal’s French striker Alexandre Lacazette runs back after scoring their late equaliser during the Premier League game against Southampton at the Emirates stadium. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP via Getty Images

 

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery admits it is up to him to get more out of his players after a stoppage-time Alexandre Lacazette goal salvaged a draw at home to struggling Southampton.

The Gunners looked on course for a damaging defeat when James Ward-Prowse finished from close range after seeing his penalty saved by Bernd Leno – only for Lacazette to stab home deep into added time to secure a 2-2 draw.

Southampton had already held the lead through Danny Ings before Lacazette levelled in the first half, the Frenchman’s double his first goals for the club since September 1st.

Although they battled back to earn a share of the spoils, it did little to appease the supporters who have now seen their side win just two of their last 11 Premier League games.

Saints should have been out of sight after creating more chances as Arsenal went in search of their late equaliser, substitute Moussa Djenepo seeing a shot cleared off the line before missing another fine opportunity.

Emery was publicly backed by the Arsenal hierarchy at the start of the international break but the pressure will continue to grow following another frustrating 90 minutes, after which he conceded the challenge to improve lies with him.

“The club are supporting me every day and also I have a responsibility,” he said.

“I know I can do better, I can take more performances with the players and I’m going to try to do that. Now my job is to analyse, to try to move on with confidence with the players.

“It’s difficult but we need to move on in the next days. After analysing that match we are going to play at home again on Thursday, prepare as well as possible.

“We know, and I know, that we need to connect with our supporters.”

Lacazette hardly celebrated a late goal which would usually be greeted with jubilation by a team rescuing a result at the death.

But Emery said the subdued reaction only proves that the players knew that a share of the spoils was still not good enough.

“That’s an example of how they felt,” he added. “They felt the point was not enough. Our performance, individually and collectively, was about achieving the victory.

“We are frustrated and we understand the supporters as well. We lost an opportunity to connect with our supporters because they helped us.

“We drew at the last moment but it’s not enough. Really, we can be disappointed and the fans also, and me, with the result.”

While Emery professed his disappointment at taking a point, Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhüttl felt the visitors did enough to leave with all three.

Saints remain without a Premier League win since September 14th after conceding so late, but Hasenhüttl was pleased with the display.

“You are thinking we can win this game with three, four or five goals but we didn’t,” he said.

“After the 70th minute only we played. We tried to score, we tried to create chances. It was a fantastic performance.

“They didn’t have so many chances in the last 20 minutes. We had much more. In that moment you must win the game.”

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