EPL: Why I Benched Ozil, Aubameyang - Emery
Ozil and Aubameyang (image courtesy Reuters)

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has explained why he left out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil for Arsenal’s game against Tottenham on Saturday.

Ozil starred as the Gunners thrashed Southampton 5-1 on Wednesday whilst Aubameyang has been in excellent goalscoring form this season.

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Yet the manager benched both players for his team’s trip to face Spurs in the North London Derby, opting instead for Alexandre Lacazette up front and Aaron Ramsey in midfield.

It is set to be Ramsey’s final derby for the Gunners ahead of his move to Juventus in the summer when his contract expires and he rewarded Emery’s decision by scoring the opening goal of the game after 16 minutes.

Explaining the changes, Emery said: “[We want to] play with fresh players, energy, high energy.

“After our quality can start or be on the bench because in 90 minutes you play small matches.

“We need all the players with big motivation to play. We are in a good way and today is a big challenge.”

The match ended in a 1-1 draw after a penalty by Harry Kane cancelled out Ramsey’s opener for the visitors.

Aubameyang would later enter the game as a substitute to bungle a late minute penalty that would have given the Gunners only their second victory at Spurs in 10 years.