Arsenal manager Unai Emery said finishing in a top-four spot will be “difficult, but we can” after his side’s first away win since November at Premier League strugglers Huddersfield. The result saw the Gunners, who remain sixth, move within a point of fourth-placed Manchester United and level on points with fifth-placed Chelsea, who face Manchester City on Sunday (16:00 GMT). “We have played 26 games and there is one point between Manchester United and us,” Emery said. “If we ask ‘is it easy or difficult for us?’ then yes, I think it’s difficult, but we can. We are on our way.”
Once Alex Iwobi’s strike deflected into the bottom right corner off defender Terence Kongolo, the visitors rarely looked like relinquishing the points in Yorkshire. Alexandre Lacazette’s tidy finish from Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ cross ensured victory despite a late Huddersfield fight-back. After Iwobi and Lacazette had squandered chances to increase Arsenal’s winning margin, Adama Diakhaby and Laurent Depoitre both went close to scoring for the hosts. And while Saed Kolasinac’s own goal represented the Terriers first, in 597 minutes of football, it was not enough to retrieve a point. Huddersfield remain marooned at the bottom of the table, 13 points from safety with 12 games remaining.
Arsenal arrived in West Yorkshire in the middle of an indifferent period of form, with three defeats in seven outings during 2019 underlining long-standing defensive issues. Unai Emery’s side was able to brush off the absence of top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and win without being at their best. In attack, Arsenal’s thrust was generally provided down the flanks courtesy of right wing-back Ainsley Maitland-Niles and team-mate Kolasinac on the opposite side.