Arsenal manager Unai Emery has explained his decision to take off Dani Ceballos in the second half against Watford on Sunday evening.
The Gunners slipped up in their quest to finish in the top four of the Premier League this season, as they threw away a two-goal lead to play out a 2-2 draw with Watford.
The Gunners went up 2-0 after just 32 minutes in the Premier League game at Vicarage Road on Sunday evening, but the home team launched a comeback and scored twice after the break.
Ceballos started the match and was playing well, but Arsenal boss Emery decided to take off the Real Madrid-owned central midfielder on the hour mark, bringing on Chris Willock in his place.
Emery has explained his decision to take off the 23-year-old Spain international, who joined Arsenal on loan from Spanish and European giants Madrid in the summer transfer window.
Emery told Arsenal’s official website when asked why he took off Ceballos: “But today it was very, very hot. We needed in the second half, some fresh players.
“We were struggling second half and I was thinking how we can improve with three players, fresh players, for give us more energy and give us also more capacity to be strong physically and tactically and also technically.”
With Arsenal winning 2-0 on 32 minutes, thanks to a double from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, it appeared that the Gunners were on their way to another win in the Premier League.
Watford, though, fought back in the second half, and the Hornets were helped by poor defending from the Gunners.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos gave away possession inside his own penalty area, and that allowed Tom Cleverley to score the home team’s first goal in the 53rd minute.
Then on 81 minutes, Davis Luiz conceded the penalty that Roberto Pereyra did not have any problem in converting.
The draw with Watford means that Arsenal are now seventh in the Premier League table with eight points from five matches.