Emery demands first-half improvement despite 11th straight Arsenal win
Danny Welbeck’s late goal handed the Gunners yet another win, but according to their manager there is still better to come
Unai Emery demanded Arsenal improve their first-half performances despite the Gunners recording their 11th straight win in all competitions by beating Sporting CP. But, as in Monday’s Premier League defeat of Leicester City, Arsenal did not impress in a flat first-half performance.
Although Arsenal are closing in on Europa League qualification, Emery feels there is an obvious area where his team can get better in the weeks to come.
“Each match there is a big opportunity to improve and one is this,” Emery told a news conference. “We spoke about it before the match.
“When we were in the dressing room at half-time we spoke and said, ‘okay today also, we cannot impose our game in first 45 minutes, but the second half we have the opportunity to change the result and continue in our way, thinking only of winning this match and improving things in the second half’.
“And I think the team did that in the second 45 minutes. But we need to continue finding the solution for the first half to be better.
“The match, for the 90 minutes, there were different things happening tactically and individually.
“The first half is not clear for us, there was not a lot of chances. The second half step by step we imposed our job, our play to win this match.” Emery has regularly spoken of his desire for Arsenal to thrive in the Europa League, a competition he won three years in a row with Sevilla.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have overshadowed other sports news following their heroics in this week’s Champions League matches.
On Tuesday night, Ronaldo’s hat-trick ensured Juventus see-off Atletico Madrid in the last-16 round to progress to the quarter-finals.
The Old Lady’s suffered a 2-0 defeat in the first leg clash, but their star Ronaldo, who joined the Turin-based outfit was in hand to nod home two headers alongside a spot-kick.
However, on Wednesday, Messi showed class after netting a brace in Barcelona’s 5-1 bashing of Lyon to seal their spot in the quarter-final round.
Messi, who doubles as Argentina and Barcelona captain, netted the game’s opener in the 18th minute of the match with a top-class Panenka spot-kick before tearing part Lyon’s defence line to net his second goal.
The Argentinean also assisted the pair of Gerard Pique and Ousmane Dembele after Philippe Coutinho scored Barca’s second.
Interestingly, the performances of Messi and Ronaldo in their respective UCL games, further revived the question of ‘who is truly the world’s greatest footballer of all time?’
According to Give Me Football, it is a herculean task to differentiate the two stars, even as Messi was rated a better player technically.
But the football website stressed Ronaldo cannot be dismissed with a wave of hand especially in big matches
At the last count, former England star Gary Lineker challenged football fans via Twitter, to pick their best after seeing the Portuguese net a hat-trick.
And after the one-day exercise over 380,000 fans participated and the following result emerged:
Lionel Messi – 62%
Cristiano Ronaldo – 38%
A further breakdown of the result revealed that mist fans opted for Messi as the greatest footballer than Ronaldo.
However, the fact remains that the duo are this generation’s greatest football players, and we should endeavour to celebrate them irrespective of your choice while they are still active.