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Unai Emery reveals what he said to inspire Arsenal’s eleventh straight win

Unai Emery has revealed what he said to his Arsenal players at half-time to inspire a much improved display on Thursday night as they beat Sporting CP 1-0 to all but secure passage through to the Europa League group stages.

Arsenal’s head coach had wanted his side to start the game in a far better fashion than they had previous matches in recent weeks, but once again watched on as they struggled to make much of an impact during the first half.

It was frustrating for Emery – who accepts he must find a solution to the constant slow starts – but the Spaniard told his players to remain patient once he got them back into the dressing room at the interval.

And his words certainly made a difference as the Gunners went on to claim an 11th straight victory thanks to Danny Welbeck’s clinical strike.

Speaking about the need to improve his side’s slow starts, Emery said: “Each match there is a very big opportunity to improve things and one is this. We spoke before the match about our objectives and one objective is this.

“But the most important is that when we were in the dressing room at half time we spoke and said ‘OK 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.”

Emery added: “The match, for 90 minutes, there we different things happening tactically and individually.

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“The first half is not clear for us. I think in the balance of the two teams there were not a lot of chances to score. The second half, step by step, we imposed our good play. We played to win this match.

“For us it’s very important because we want to finish first in this group and at the moment the other team that is with us is Sporting.

“We are happy and also for continuing our process, with different players and with the rhythm in all the matches we are playing. There were big positive things here.”

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