Unai Emery throws support behind Petr Cech despite erratic performance in Arsenal’s win over Cardiff

The 36-year-old endured several nervy moments with the ball at his feet against Cardiff

Luke Brown
Cardiff City Stadium
Sunday 02 September 2018 16:49
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Shkodran Mustafi goal celebration during Cardiff vs Arsenal, which risks FA punishment due to pro-Kosovo meaning

Unai Emery has thrown his support behind Petr Cech after Arsenal’s thrilling 3-2 victory at Cardiff City, following yet another error-strewn performance from the veteran goalkeeper.

Cech has struggled to adapt to Emery’s demands of playing the ball out from the back since the Spaniard replaced Arsene Wenger in the summer.

And the 36-year-old endured several nervy moments with the ball at his feet against Cardiff. He was almost caught out in possession in the opening few minutes of the match, and was guilty of passing the ball directly to Harry Arter — who wastefully shot over — moments later.

Junior Hoilett also came close to punishing Cech for a misplaced short pass, only to balloon a close-range shot wide.

But after the match Emery said Cech has his full support, adding that he does not want to see his side reverting to playing wasteful long balls.

“For me he has experience and he has intelligence and he is doing what we want to do to win,” Emery said.

“It’s very important for me to continue doing this and to keep improving. We take a little risk, but when you break this risk and their pressing you can find space.

“If you play long balls every time you lose your personality. So we need to continue with this personality.”

Alexandre Lacazette’s match-winning performance was more encouraging for Arsenal, with Emery backing the 27-year-old to enjoy a fruitful second season in English football.

“I spoke with him because I know him with Lyon, and I know he has a big capacity to score when we are in the box, and when the team give him good options and good chances,” Emery added.

Alexandre Lacazette won the game for England

“Today he showed us that. It is good for his confidence this match and it’s a good victory for the team.

“His performance with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang helped us and we will continue working to find the best combination with each player.”

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