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On the day when Arsenal beat us 3-1 at the Emirates, there didn’t appear to be much love lost on the touchline between the two managers and Unai Emery certainly had his say on that at the end of the game.

“I think the most important thing is our victory,” he said. “The things that happened on the pitch between the players and between us in our moment also.  Only with these moments with the referee between us, I think we need to have respect for the referee and have respect between us.”

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About his players going down a bit too easily, he said: “No. I do not agree. No. It’s not my spirit. Diving, I think, is not correct.” He continued: “I think VAR is coming here in the future and I think this will help the referees, because the referees can make mistakes, like us. I make mistakes every day but I want to learn and I want to also help do less mistakes with my decisions. The referees are the same, but we need to respect them.

“I think today was very important for us. We struggled with their actions and they struggled with our actions. They are a very organised team with one very, very clear characteristic in their game plan, but we respect that and also, we need to adapt to these moments: long balls, second actions and duels with the body.

“They are more physical than us, that’s normal, but we knew these situations in the game in the ninety minutes and wanted to impose our moments with possession, with good movement on the pitch, moving the ball quickly from one side to the other and progressing with combinations and attacking play in their half. But we know usually that when they have the ball they start with long balls and second actions, and we need to adapt for these moments in the game. ”

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Sean Dyche was clearly unhappy with some of the decisions that went Arsenal’s way, or definitely didn’t go our way. Starting with the second half penalty shout, he said: “We can’t get a penalty. I think that’s 60 games now and it’s impossible that we didn’t get one today. It’s a clear two-handed push in the back of Kevin and because he doesn’t roll around or go down before he’s been hit, nothing is given.

“Ashley Barnes goes down in a tangle with their lad and gets an elbow in the face and somehow gets a booking, which I am flummoxed by. There were two blatant dives again, but nobody gets booked. I do try to stay away from officials, but today there were too many important decisions went against us and it’s hard enough coming to these type of places yet we got nothing today.

“Unai asked me at the end why I was shouting at the ref, and I’ve just explained why, because you can’t get that many wrong. When they look back, I think they will think I have a case.”

Dyche added: “I don’t feel it was a 3-1 game and from our point of view I thought there were a lot of good things. We had to change our shape today because we lost the two wide men, so we felt it appropriate to go two up top and I was pleased with the way the team adapted to the shape.

“We had a really strong mentality because it’s not easy coming down to places like this, but we came here to try and win and you go away disappointed because it was a good performance. Certainly two of the three goals are soft and the other is marginally offside, so we know we have to eradicate that, but we have played three of the top four sides in the division recently and certainly done enough, mentally and tactically to get something from the games.

“But with all due respect not everyone has the power of these clubs, so there’s a lot to be pleased about, even though we go away with nothing. We can’t be pleased with the league position because we have to win games, but there is life in what we are doing.”

 

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