Unai Emery says he was happy with the performances of Joe Willock and Nicolas Pepe despite Arsenal’s 3-1 loss to Liverpool FC at Anfield on Saturday evening.
The Gunners suffered a resounding loss to the Premier League leaders despite making the trip to Anfield as one of two clubs with a 100 per cent record in the English top flight.
Joel Matip broke the deadlock for the hosts with a header before Mohamed Salah scored from the penalty spot after David Luiz pulled the Egypt forward’s shirt in the area.
The former Chelsea FC winger netted his second goal after Salah beat Nacho Monreal for pace before the Egyptian star finished past Arsenal shot-stopper Bernd Leno.
Pepe completed seven successful dribbles and had four shots on goal, while he was the first Premier League player to dribble past Virgil van Dijk in 50 games.
Willock, 20, won two successful tackles and completed 85 per cent of his attempted passes in the Premier League clash.
Speaking to his post-match media conference about what positives the Arsenal manager can take from the 3-1 loss, Emery said:
“It was a bad result but we are working for progress.
“I think we showed character and also the impact from Lucas Torreira with Alex Lacazette and Micki was good.
“Also some players today made one step ahead like Willock, and I also think it was a good match for Pepe and Matteo.”
Dani Ceballos was the man of the match in Arsenal’s 2-1 victory over Burnley at The Emirates last weekend but the on-loan Real Madrid midfielder struggled at Anfield.
On the Spanish starlet’s performance, Emery added:
“Ceballos struggled more than last week, but this is one more experience for him.”