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Arsenal still control top-four race – Emery



Unai Emery said Arsenal remain in control of the race for Champions League qualification after another disappointing away performance saw his side lose 1 – 0 at Everton on Sunday .

Phil Jagielka , only drafted into Everton’ s starting line – up at the last minute , scored the game’ s only goal as Arsenal extended their wretched record as the only club in the top four divisions of English football not to have kept a clean sheet on their travels this season .

But Arsenal boss Emery , while conceding his team had played badly, tried to remain positive in the aftermath at Goodison Park .
“ I think generally we are well . I don’ t think ; ‘ today we lost and we are very bad ’ . It was a bad result , not a good performance today , but we are fourth , ” Emery said .
“ Before , I knew it was going to be difficult . After this result , I am thinking the same .

“ After this result , we can be negative because it is three points lost, but it is in our hands if we continue taking chances and opportunities, to be in the top four. ”
Everton had already threatened from one of Lucas Digne ’ s long throw – ins before the full- back delivered the set – piece that led to Jagielka ’ s opening goal on 10 minutes .
His throw was flicked on by Jagielka himself , for Dominic Calvert – Lewin to attempt a header on goal that saw the ball take a kindly bounce , falling to the unmarked defender who swept in from close – range .

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There were Arsenal appeals for offside , and television footage seemed to show that Digne ’ s foot might have been over the line in the process of taking his all- important throw .
But it was certainly a dramatic intervention from Jagielka , who had only be called into the team minutes before kick – off when Michael Keane finally succumbed to a virus that had rendered him a doubt .

– Altercation –
Jagielka , 36 , has suffered a difficult season at Goodison , with a series of knee problems limiting him to three starts but his impact on this occasion could not have been greater , or much quicker .

It was also the former England international’ s first goal since April 2017 as he became the oldest player to score in the Premier League this season .

Victory also meant that Everton have beaten a ‘ big six ’ side for a second consecutive home game, having failed to win against one of those teams in the previous 25 attempts .
But the post – match analysis centred more on Arsenal’ s poor performance , one which improved only marginally at the interval when Emery brought on Aaron Ramsey and Pierre – Emerick Aubameyang .

The pair brought about an improvement in attack , the latter’ s 48 th – minute cross producing a weak punch from Jordan Pickford which Ramsey volleyed over from 12 yards .

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But , defensively , Arsenal were even worse after the restart .

Everton really should have doubled their lead on 73 minutes when a Gylfi Sigurdsson shot was charged down by Sokratis and Richarlison sliced the rebound well wide .
The pressure seemed to be taking its toll on Emery , who was involved in a furious verbal altercation with Everton boss Marco Silva eight minutes from time when Shkodran Mustafi was booked for a poor foul on Richarlison as he broke clear , in front of the technical area .

“ He arrived late , but I think it was a yellow card , ” said Emery .
“ I was speaking and he ( Silva ) came into my space and place on the bench and explained something to me. But it was no problem. ”
( AFP )