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Emery on Arsenal fans booing ‘very important’ Granit Xhaka vs Aston Villa


Arsenal manager Unai Emery has this evening provided his take on his side’s supporters taking aim at Granit Xhaka, during their comeback win over Aston Villa.

Arsenal turn it around

The Gunners welcomed Dean Smith’s Villa to the Emirates earlier today, for their latest Premier League clash.

Arsenal headed into proceedings on the back of a 3-match winless streak on the domestic front, though the north Londoners did manage a morale-boosting 3-0 victory in their Europa League opener at Eintracht Frankfurt during the week.

And, when all was said and done in the English capital this evening, a manic 90 minutes eventually saw Arsenal add a 2nd game to their win streak.

Aston Villa actually opened the scoring, courtesy of John McGinn, with 20 minutes on the clock.

And a dismal first-half for the capital giants was compounded shortly before the interval, when Ainsley Maitland-Niles was given his marching orders for a 2nd bookable offence.

The second 45, though, saw Unai Emery’s men showcased their fighting spirit.

First, Nicolas Pepe pulled the Gunners level from the penalty spot on the hour mark.

Incredibly, however, less than a minute later, Villa took the lead once more, through summer signing Wesley.

But, despite being a goal and a man down, Arsenal fought back yet again, to eventually clinch all 3 points.

First, Calum Chambers found the net 10 minutes from time, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put the finishing touches on a remarkable comeback 3 minutes later.

‘A very important player for us’

When things were not going the way of their side this evening, though, the home support were not shy in making their feelings very much known.

With 20 minutes to go, and Arsenal a goal behind, Unai Emery opted to haul Granit Xhaka off, to be replaced by Joe Willock.

As the former made his way off the pitch, meanwhile, he was greeted by a shower of boos from around the stadium.

As such, speaking in his post-match press conference, Gunners boss Emery was drawn on the club’s fans targetting Xhaka.

And, though the Spanish tactician stopped short of asking the Arsenal faithful to support the Swiss midfielder, he did reveal his opinion that turning those boos into cheers would help Xhaka to ‘achieve the best things’:

‘We need our supporters. We need them helping each player. Our responsibility is to transmit our quality.’

‘He played very well on Thursday, last week in Watford. Today I changed him because he played for 90 minutes.’

‘Xhaka is a very important player for us. He has a big commitment and he is improving. I am not asking people to support him. But I am sure he is going to achieve the best things if the supporters help him.’

Quotes via football.london.

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