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Arsenal may have recorded a third clean sheet in four games with a 3-0 victory over Qarabag in the Europa League but centre-back Sokratis admits the Gunners were lucky not to concede in Azerbaijan.
Not for the first time this season, Unai Emery’s defence was left exposed at key moments and were it not for some wayward finishing, a correct offside decision and some smart saves from Bernd Leno the evening could have been far less comfortable.
After the match, Sokratis, who grabbed his first goal for the club when he deflected a Nacho Monreal header after 4 minutes, underlined the need to improve despite an eighth successive win.
He told Arsenal.com: “It was very hard and the other team played well – they lost a lot of chances! We won, we are very happy, we need to work harder and we need to improve.
“We know that some things aren’t going good and we have to work harder and we are in this way.
“[Keeping a clean sheet] this is the most important thing. I’m very happy today, also for the last games where we defended well, but still we need to improve and the other team wasted a lot of chances.
“We have been lucky in the moment and we know we’ve been lucky, but we have to work harder and I think it’s getting better.”
Emery set his side up with three centre-backs but reverted to a four man defence at half-time after feeling his side had ceded too much room to their opponents in the midfield.
While the Spaniard may not have been particularly happy with his original tactics, Sokratis noted that it’s a system he’s enjoyed at former club Borussia Dortmund.
“For me it’s good,” he noted. “I’ve played a lot of games there in Borussia with Thomas Tuchel. I played a lot of games and I think it’s a very good system.
“Our manager knows well, he tries a lot of things and this is very good for the team. I think we’re on a good road.”