Emery quick to praise Arsenal youngsters
Arsenal boss Unai Emery was quick to praise his young side as they beat Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 in the Europa League.
The Gunners made the best possible start to their Europa League campaign as they kept a clean sheet on their travels.
Midfielder Joe Willock fired Arsenal in front inside the first half when his deflected shot found the back of the net. Fellow academy graduate Saka then grabbed the headlines after unleashing a powerful drive in the 85th minute.
That strike was Saka’s first senior goal for the club, but Arsenal were not finished there, and top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang then added a third just two minutes later.
What a night for our guy! 🙌
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 19, 2019
Arsenal ended the evening top of Group F on goal difference after Standard Liege beat Vitoria 2-0.
Emery’s decision to rest his senior players and give youth a chance paid off, in what should be Arsenal’s toughest game in the group stages.
Willock, who recently signed a new deal, impressed in midfield, while Emile Smith-Rowe and Saka both showed they can play at the highest level.
When asked about the young players, Emery says they can continue to grow and learn in the competition.
He told Arsenal’s official website: “Maybe with his (Saka) goal, maybe with his performance during the match, he took confidence in his finishing and was strong physically.
“Also, it’s the same with Emile. After his injury, tonight he played for the first time for us this season, and he did well. Willock was aggressive in the midfield and worked well in the space. After, it’s about continuing. This competition is a very big challenge for us, and we’re excited to do something important.”
Arsenal are next in action against Aston Villa, where Emery’s more senior players are set to return to the fold. The Gunners will be desperate to win after two 2-2 draws in a row against Tottenham and Watford.
Arsenal then face Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup, a game which should see Willock and Saka feature again.