Ljungberg encouraged by Arsenal style despite draw at Norwich

By Timothy Abraham 2 December 2019 35
Ljungberg encouraged by Arsenal style despite draw at Norwich

Arsenal interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg claimed his players produced the right style of play in their 2-2 draw with Norwich City on Sunday.

Ljungberg was promoted from a coaching role to take temporary charge of the Gunners for the trip to Carrow Road after Unai Emery was sacked on Friday.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted a brace as Arsenal twice fought back to earn a point following goals from Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell.

The Gunners were more adventurous with some of their attacking play, which pleased former Sweden international Ljungberg, who played for Arsenal between 1998 and 2007.

"We started the game really well, that’s how I want to play football," Ljungberg told Sky Sports.

"We dominated away from home at the start on the game. But we need to work on the transitions, we dominated and they break on us too easily.

"In the beginning I saw a lot of things we worked on in training, but we need to score goals and take the lead. Twice they went behind and showed a great mentality to come back. 

"I want this club to do well, it is only winning that counts. I wanted to win the game so I am disappointed but I have also seen some positive things."

Aubameyang's first goal from the penalty spot came after a handball from Christoph Zimmermann.

Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul initially unsettled Aubameyang and his spot-kick was saved by the Dutchman – who pointed in the direction he wanted the striker to shoot.

However, VAR determined there was encroachment in the penalty box before the rebound was cleared and Aubameyang regained his composure to emphatically dispatch the retake.

On the penalty incident, Ljungberg added: "I think I had a heart-attack twice! But from what I heard it was quite obvious, that’s what the results are for.

"The most important thing was for Aubameyang to have the mental strength to score the second penalty after missing the first one."

Krul was annoyed the spot-kick had to be taken again after his histrionics on the line appeared to unnerve Aubameyang.

"For me the job is to get in the striker’s head and doubt themselves," said the Norwich goalkeeper.

"Especially at home with the crowd behind me, I took a bit longer than the referee liked and he gave me a yellow card, rightly so because I came off my line again. 

"At the end of the day I saved it and it was frustrating it had to be retaken because one of our lads was a bit too quick.

"I just said to Mesut Ozil as they were celebrating that they were lucky because the referee helped them a lot there."

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Timothy Abraham