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Emery hails ‘amazing’ team spirit as 10 man Arsenal come back to beat Aston Villa

Unai Emery has described Arsenal’s team spirit as ‘amazing’ as his side twice came from behind to beat Aston Villa.

They were made to work for it, but 10-man Arsenal just about managed to bag all three points in an intriguing game at the Emirates against recently promoted Aston Villa.

The Villains took the lead through Scotland international John McGinn on 20 minutes, before Arsenal’s task of staging a comeback was made all the more difficult with Ainsley Maitland-Niles receiving his marching orders for a second bookable offence.

The Gunners were offered a chance to get back into the game when Bjorn Engels brought down Mateo Guendouzi in the box, with Nicolas Pepe despatching the resulting penalty for his first goal in the Premier League.

Parity in the scoreline was shortlived however, with Wesley putting the visitors ahead one minute later following some excellent work from Jack Grealish.

Just when you thought it was going to be another one of those days for Unai Emery’s side, the second equaliser came through the unexpected source of Callum Chambers who netted on a rare appearance in the 81st minute, before marksman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored three minutes later to secure the victory.

Speaking after the game Unai Emery described his side’s spirit as ‘amazing’, playing with 10 men for 49 minutes, but insisted his side will need to improve.

“When it was 11 v 11 we didn’t control the match how we wanted because we lost a lot of balls in the middle and gave them chances in the transition,” Emery told BBC’s Match of the Day.

“When we could attack and get the ball in the box we weren’t bad really. We were also creating chances to score. After the goal we could be calm and improve and the red card changed the idea.

“For the second half we needed to play first with the head but also with our heart. We needed supporters pushing us and us to take some risks. The team spirit was amazing. We need to continue working and improving things.

“Aston Villa is a good team and an organised team. After this I hope we can improve and be strong. Together with the supporters, we will be strong for the matches and hopefully improve.

“It is our challenge to improve defensively. They didn’t have a lot of chances to score.”

Emery: Pepe needs to adapt ‘quickly’

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