The Gunners could have won the match if Aubameyang hadn’t missed a late penalty but despite that horror miss, many believed that this was one of Arsenal’s best performances in 2019.
When the Arsenal team was announced there were a number of questions raised about Emery’s team selection especially with the inclusion of Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The manager chose to bench the likes of Mesut Ozil and Aubameyang and in turn handed Henrikh Mkhitaryan a starting role.
But after the match, Henrikh Mkhitaryan along with Alex Iwobi were the only forward players who completed the full 90 minutes and the Armenian was easily one of the better players on the pitch for the Gunners.
And speaking after the game, Unai Emery revealed why he chose to snub the likes of Ozil and Auba and go with Henrikh Mkhitaryan instead.
“He can do it because physically he has a big [capacity],” said Emery.
“He can get to the two boxes, defensively and offensively. After that, I think he also has the quality to help us in our style of play and for example, he usually can play 90 minutes with being consistent in his work. Another player, maybe, cannot do that with this big intensity.
“On Saturday we changed some players after Wednesday, we changed also some players to get fresh players, fresh energy and I think it’s a good combination and was important to help us. Not for winning today, but for being closer to do that.”
“Each match is different, we are playing with a back four and also with three centre backs sometimes, and I think the team is improving and is learning to play different systems. But with the same ideas.
“It’s not the same to play with one player or another player, because maybe he has bigger qualities or better qualities more like a winger or like a full back or like a right back.
“For example, it’s different to play with Nacho Monreal or Sead Kolasinac. They are two very big and important players for us with their qualities.
“But one is more offensive than the other. Nacho is more defensive with a big performance defensively, more than Sead.
“But we need to use two players and sometimes with three or four at the back. Above all, to improve and grow up like a player, improving tactical issues and we are doing that.
“The reason why we are making changes to the system is adaptation to the opposition and also in our best combinations with the players.”