Given you were 2-0 down and down to 10 men, you’ve got the away goal, has that finished much better than it could have done?
Absolutely. Obviously, we are disappointed that we lost the game because it’s not the result that we wanted to take from the game. But after the story of the game, I think we have to take because we are in the tie we are alive and after the circumstances that developed in the game it could have been a tie in real danger at some stage.
You chose to start without a recognised centre forward. Was that a bit of a gamble in a match of this importance?
It’s the way we prepared the game, it’s the decision that I made thinking that it was the best way to play but the game was conditioned after four minutes. Conceding the set piece as well changed it. After we had to approach it in a different way.
There was that big chance for Aubameyang at the end. How much of a difference could that have made going into the second leg?
We know big chances to like that, to give yourself the best possible chance. you have to put them in the net. He was very unlucky because I think he slipped just before he took the shot and at the end it didn’t go through, But that was a big, big chance obviously.
Have you spoken to Dani and what was your reaction to the red card?
I haven’t seen the action again. Obviously we talked at half time that you have to be careful. There was already a tackle very early, I was going to take him off but by the time Gabi was ready to come on that action happened and he was out.
Was the plan to have Emile as a false nine or two 10s? Can you talk us through what the plan was tactically because it didn’t quite seem to click?
One of the main reasons wasn’t that it was that after conceding the goal we disorganised ourselves in the high press. We were really stretched and we didn’t have the right spaces with the right people and then we were open. We didn’t give ourselves the chance even to get set in the final third to do what we wanted to do because we weren’t precise on the ball as well. So overall it was not the best.
We started the second half with the same players in a completely different way. We play with three strikers sometimes and we don’t score any goals many times in the season. It’s a decision that I made and that’s it.
You chose to play Granit at left back and you were blunt up front. Did you get the team selection wrong?
Obviously when you lose you always get it wrong.
Is thesemi finalof a Europa League the time to be taking those chances though?
Guys when we won 4-0 away to Slavia Prague that they didn’t lose a home game in three years and Granit played so well it was incredibly well playing there. But I know when that doesn’t happen it’s always going to point there.
You’ve got the away goal now so are you confident that with a balanced side you can still go through?
Well it changes completely the tie obviously. It makes a huge difference and we know that we are there. We have to better than we were today for 95 minutes. If we don’t do that we don’t have the chance to be in the final.
You said before the match the feeling in the dressing room was excitement. What do you put the poor first half down to?
I think the first goal it was a big shock it was the first action almost that they went over the halfway line and they scored a goal. After that we were touched, we didn’t expect it but we were touched. We didn’t quite react and then we conceded the set piece goal and that’s obviously crucial in these ties. Then the team needed a break. After the break we reset, we reorganised, we talked about a few things and we were a different team in the second half.
Can you tell us what the mood was like at full time in the dressingroom?
Well comparing how it was at half time it’s very different. But like I said we’ve got an opportunity. It’s a big challenge what we have ahead of us now, but we have the opportunity to make it but it has to be now. In the return leg it’s going to be too late.
We have to change it right now. We are able to do that. You are going to get here in a completely different position. We still have another incident which is the red card and play with ten men against this team. And the team went to a different level again and we got the goal.
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Arsenal looked best when they were going through their toughest time in the game?
Well I believe in the second half it was completely different to what we’ve seen in the first half. After the sending off we knew we had to fight back or we would be completely out of the tie. So we had to fight back and we took our chances and it all came good for us.