Emery urges consistency during season's final straight

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey (far left, in red) scoring the opening goal past Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka during their 2-0 English Premier League victory at the Emirates Stadium on Monday.
Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey (far left, in red) scoring the opening goal past Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka during their 2-0 English Premier League victory at the Emirates Stadium on Monday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • Unai Emery challenged a revitalised Arsenal to write their own history after they climbed to third place - two points ahead of Manchester United and Tottenham - in the Premier League with a 2-0 win over Newcastle.

Aaron Ramsey's first-half opener was followed by Alexandre Lacazette's strike in the game's closing stages at the Emirates on Monday to maintain their impressive progress under the Spaniard.

This is the highest position Arsenal have reached in the league since April 2017, highlighting their improvement since Emery replaced Arsene Wenger after last season.

They had 63 points in the Frenchman's final year, but Emery has matched that tally with seven games to spare to put the club in the box seat for a top-four spot.

It was also their 10th straight home league win, the first time they have done so since the 1997-98 double-winning season.

But, while Arsenal fans celebrated at the full-time whistle by taunting their spluttering north London rivals with chants of "Are you watching Tottenham", Emery urged caution ahead of "a very difficult away game" against Everton on Sunday.

He told Sky Sports: "We are making progress in the table, but we know it is difficult. Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea are going to win a lot of games in the last moment in the season and we also need to do that.

"We need to continue being consistent, continue being together and continue with a big mentality to learn when we need to struggle together to impose our moment in 90 minutes. It's a big challenge for us to continue in this way.

"Our target is very clear. We have created a big atmosphere here. We are in a good moment, a good mentality with the players."

The Spaniard also praised Ramsey, who will be leaving on a free transfer to join Juventus in the summer, for "playing with a very big performance".

He added: "Aaron is happy, he is helping us and we need that, with him scoring. Each energy from the players is very important for us and he is doing that. He is giving us his quality, energy, behaviour to push.

"We know and he knows we are in the most important moment of the season."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 03, 2019, with the headline 'Emery urges consistency during season's final straight'. Print Edition | Subscribe