Unai Emery believes Troy Deeney’s red card for the challenge on Lucas Torreira played against the Uruguayan’s favour late into the 0-1 victory over Watford on Monday.
The Gunners managed to squeeze through a crucial win against a 10-men Hornets at Vicarage Road. It was one of Arsenal’s famous away performances yet again where the opposition number simply had their way with the visitors’ backline.
If it were not for the personnel advantage, many predict that the North London outfit could have fallen against Javi Gracia’s men.
One of the more controversial decisions of Unai Emery’s during the match was Torreira getting substituted in the second half. The 22-year-old was controlling the midfield but yet he was benched.
Speaking on the matter, Emery said, “First I decided to change Torreira because after the red card the atmosphere was against him. Also, the doctor said to me in the first half he had a little bit of pain like Thursday and I decided ‘OK, it’s the moment’.
“We were playing with the same system, 4-2-3-1, with Aaron Ramsey and [Granit] Xhaka coming closer to the play and Mesut [Ozil] like a No.10.
“We weren’t controlling like I want the match and I was thinking to do with three centre-backs can be enough with our build-up and we use one player in the middle like Matteo [Guendouzi], helping with Xhaka, Aaron and Mesut, to make the superiority in the midfield more clear.
“But really I didn’t make the right decision on the pitch. We didn’t have the control I wanted,” he added.
“After I changed to the 4-2-3-1 with Ainsley [Maitland-Niles]. Above all the anxiety was in our team because the second half they can take some moments, the possibility to score in set pieces and second actions.
“We worked well on set pieces, we worked well on second actions and the long ball. The most important for us was to score the second ball to be more in control.”