Unai Emery has explained why he subbed off Mesut Ozil during Arsenal’s Carabao Cup defeat to Liverpool.
Ozil was offered a first start in over a month at Anfield on Wednesday night and impressed for the Gunners, playing a crucial role in two of Arsenal’s five goals.
Arsenal fans reacted badly to his 65th-minute substitution but Emery says it was decided before the match that he would be replaced as the club were wary of Ozil becoming fatigued.
The match finished 5-5 after 90 minutes and Liverpool scored their five penalties to knock Arsenal out and progress to the quarter-finals.
Asked about Ozil’s performance and surprising substitution, Emery said: ‘He played very well. He used his skills to help the team and was always positive.
‘But when two teams concede five goals you can’t always be happy but playing a game like that could be good.’
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, meanwhile, who made 11 changes from the side that beat Tottenham in the Premier League last weekend, said:
‘I was convinced we could give them a proper game. ‘Going into half-time we were hoping to keep it at 3-1 but we scored again. I enjoyed each second of the game and it was a special night.’