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  • By Charlie Stong at Emirates Stadium

Emery full of praise for Guendouzi in Gunners' win over Villa

Unai Emery praised Matteo Guendouzi’s performance in Arsenal’s 3-2 victory against Aston Villa.

Guendouzi won the penalty from which Nicolas Pepe scored the Gunners' first equaliser, then was instrumental in the goal which brought the home side back to 2-2, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang won the game.

Speaking in the post-match press conference, Emery said of Guendouzi: “He is progressing. I like that spirit. He has talent, but above all I like his attitude, commitment and behaviour.

“He is angry when he is not playing and I like that about players. He is improving, I want to be calm with him and humble with him and hope he can continue to improve.”

Emery said he was considering taking off Ainsley Maitland-Niles before the full-back was sent off for a second bookable offence just before half-time.

He said: “It is not easy to play with a yellow card in a defensive position so I was (considering taking him off). The second yellow card he first touched the ball, I was thinking it’s not a card, but we have to accept the decision.

“I am going to support him and he is important for us, his commitment for us is great.”

Emery also praised Aubameyang’s decision to hand over penalty taking duties to Nicolas Pepe, to give him the chance to bag his first Gunners goal – a chance he took by smashing the ball straight down the middle of the goal.

Emery said: “It was a big decision from Aubameyang to let Pepe shoot. I was happy when I saw that decision from Aubameyang.”

Emery said a decision on whether returning duo Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney would play against Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night would be taken tomorrow.

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