Unai Emery wasn’t happy with the team’s continued habit of poor first-half performances.
Emery’s side needed a late winner from Danny Welbeck to secure a 1-0 victory over Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League on Thursday, after struggling to create any dangerous chances before the break.
Emery said he used his half-time team talk to improve things as Arsenal dominated the match after the break. But he still hasn’t solved the dilemma of getting his players to off to better starts.
“We cannot impose our ideas in the first 45 minutes, but in the second half we have the chance and the opportunity to change the result,” Emery said. “I think we did that in the 45 minutes of the second half. But we need to continue finding the solution for us to be better in the first halves.
“We spoke in the dressing room before the start of the match today about our objectives. And one objective is this. But the most important thing is that when we were in the dressing room at half-time, we spoke.”
Whatever was said, it seemed to work, as Welbeck’s goal came after a period of sustained pressure from the Gunners.
Arsenal are now just three wins away from matching the club’s record streak of 14 straight victories, but Emery won’t allow himself to look that far ahead.
“Three matches … that’s a lot of matches,” Emery said. “We are only thinking of the next match against Crystal Palace [on Sunday]. We are also enjoying each moment with our supporters.
“We are thinking about three points at Crystal Palace, but we know that it’s very difficult to win there. For us, continuing to win is what we want but we know it’s not easy and we can lose.”