‘We need to be better in the second half of the season’ – Emery

Arsenal manager Unai Emery insists the Gunners must still improve defensively if they are to challenge the top four, following their 4-1 victory over Fulham.

Ryan Sessegnon came close to putting the visitors ahead early on, but was unable to find the target from a promising position.

The Gunners soon made him pay, as Granit Xhaka latched on to Alex Iwobi’s cross to volley home.

Alexandre Lacazette made it 2-0 after the break, as Saed Kolasinac provided the final pass of a deadly attack for Lacazette to score.

Aboubakar Kamara would net for Fulham to put the result in doubt, but all fears would soon be wiped away.

First Aaron Ramsey reacted quickest after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s strike had hit the post, before Aubameyang finally got his name on the score sheet with a deflected effort.

Speaking via football.london, Emery said: “We needed to win today. We can be consistent here in our results.

“These points give us regularity for our position in the table. We are behind the top four but I want to continue close to them and in the near future we can be close.

“Our challenge now is to improve defensively.

“Today is the first time we could play with Sokratis, Koscielny and Mustafi. The injury to Mustafi meant we changed for the second-half.

“We are happy with the attacking players and scoring goals, but we need more balance defensively to improve.

“We need to work, we need to do better in the second half of the season.”

Ramsey has been linked with a move away from the Gunners in January with his contract set to expire in the summer, but Emery believes the Wales international will not depart in this transfer window.

“He worked well in Liverpool, today he played minutes and he scored,” Emery explained.

“I want this focus.

“I would expect so [that Ramsey stays at the club in January] yes.”

Fans could be heard booing when Emery decided to substitute Lacazette, a move which Emery said should have been trusted by the supporters.

“I understand the supporters, but I need to do my work,” he said.

“Tactically we are thinking we need to change for more balance.

“We know Seri well, we need a player close to him, not let him play with the ball too easily.

“I think Ramsey can do that and help us with attacking moments.

“I need to do my work. But for me today Lacazette helped us.”

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