Emery talks up importance of third spot while eyeing improvement from Arsenal

Unai Emery admits it was “important” for Arsenal to claim third spot in the Premier League table with a 1-0 win over Bournemouth, but admits there is still room for improvement from his side.

An early effort from David Luiz was enough to get the Gunners over the line in their latest outing.

The Brazilian defender nodded home at Emirates Stadium in the ninth minute, with Emery’s side doing enough from there to claim all three points.

Victory has made them upwardly mobile once more, with Arsenal now just one point behind reigning champions Manchester City.

Emery is pleased to have collected a positive result heading into the international break, saying of seeing his side back in the Champions League places: “It was our objective today. For our confidence it was important [to go third].

“Maybe in the second half we were struggling more than we wanted and maybe in some moments we felt that pressure. For me it’s one step more for the young players, for us.

“We didn’t feel fear with that moment when the opposition was pushing us. Really I think the second half we can analyse and improve, we will do. In 90 minutes we deserved to win.”

Arsenal were good value for a narrow win, but Emery admits there is still much for his side to work on after making life more uncomfortable than it should have been.

Granit Xhaka, David Luiz, Arsenal

With Bournemouth never out of the game, the Spaniard added: “We were speaking before the match, the first four matches we played, today we wanted to do one step ahead, doing better and controlling better the match but knowing it was going to be difficult.

“We played with a very good organisation, defensively very strong. We scored one goal and got into their box with possibilities to score goals.

“The second half was a very good opportunity to keep our confidence, to get better with the ball and stop their action with the ball. We did it perfectly in the first half but in the second half, maybe because the chances arrived late, we lost that.

“We are very happy with that result and very proud of that result.”

Luiz’s header was his first goal for the Gunners, with the South American expected to have an important role to play this season following a summer switch from Chelsea.

Emery said of his flamboyant centre-half: “The most important thing is to have a lot of corners. We had a lot in the first half.

“When we have a lot we can score.

“He is very positive. He is every time speaking about positive things. He is helping the young players.

“He came late in the squad but his commitment is very high, his behaviour.”