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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leads Arsenal to comeback win over rivals Tottenham

Gabonese striker scored twice and assisted another in the 4-2 win over Spurs at Emirates Stadium

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, right, and Alexandre Lacazette celebrate Arsenal's win over Tottenham. EPA
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, right, and Alexandre Lacazette celebrate Arsenal's win over Tottenham. EPA

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang said Arsenal had full belief they would turn around the North London derby at half-time after the Gabonese striker inspired his team to a 4-2 win over rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

Having taken a 10th minute lead when Aubameyang converted from the penalty spot, Arsenal found themselves 2-1 down at the break after Eric Dier and Harry Kane scored in the space of four minutes.

However, Aubameyang pulled his side level with a superb finish 11 minutes after the interval, before substitute Alexander Lacazette fired Arsenal ahead with a deflected shot off Dier.

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Uruguayan midfielder Lucas Torreira then pounced three minutes later to extend the home side's lead as Arsenal moved above Spurs into fourth place in the Premier League table. The win also extends Unai Emery's side unbeaten run to 19 matches in all competitions.

"After the first goal we conceded we had a moment where we were a bit down, but at half-time we were confident," Aubameyang told Sky Sports.

"We spoke, we knew that we can do it in the second half. With the fans, the atmosphere, we felt strong and could go for the win. I think we can see always in the second half we played very well, we don't give up. That's the mentality.

"The most important thing is the present right now. We are looking of course to continue this series. We are still winning games and we're on an unbeaten run so we have to keep going."

Arsenal manager Emery revealed how a speech from club captain Laurent Koscielny helped galvanise the team, while stressing the importance of a derby win ahead of their next match against Manchester United on Wednesday.

"For us winning is very important, together we can play like today," the Spaniard said. "And they kept calm even when Spurs were winning. I am very happy for the supporters and for every player.

"We want to keep improving defensively and not conceding opportunities for the opposition to score.

"Every player is like me, when it is a derby we need the other players to give us his experience and character. For example, our meeting today finished with a speech from Laurent Koscielny, for one minute, which gave us the will to win.

"A result like today and how we are playing is good for our confidence. Now we plan for three points at Manchester United."

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino believed the result came down to fine margins, and he urged his players to shake off their disappointment and focus on their next match when they host Southampton on Wednesday.

"I think the game was even and we were managing the game well until 2-2," he said.

"We were unlucky how we conceded the third goal and after that it was tough. Then we conceded quick and the sending off of Jan Vertonghen ended it.

"I was disappointed with the goals we conceded, of course Arsenal deserve credit but we made many mistakes. In these type of games, the small details can turn the game to one side or the other.

"Disappointed with the result but looking forward to the next game."

Updated: December 2, 2018 09:26 PM

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