After scoring twice to help Arsenal to a 3-1 win over Burnley, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang told reporters he’s never been in a feistier match than that.
Aubameyang fired two impressive finishes home to secure the three points for Arsenal, but he was also involved in more than a few physical battles throughout the 90 minutes, as were many of his teammates. Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, the striker admitted it was a very physical encounter.
“Yeah, [it was a] physical battle,” Aubameyang said. “It was really, really hard. Papa (Sokratis Papastathopoulos) loves games like this, but we won, and that’s the most important.”
When asked to recall the last time he’d been in such a feisty encounter, the Gabon international responded: “Wow, never, I think never. It was really, really hard, but I think all the team fought and we [played] a great game.”
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) December 22, 2018
Speaking about the physical battle, particularly with Burnley’s Ashley Barnes, Sokratis confirmed that’s the kind of game he likes to be involved in. However, he did go on to add that he thinks it went a bit too far at times, claiming that was through no fault of his own.
“Of course I enjoy,” Sokratis said. “This is football. Maybe it was too much, but I think it was not my mistake. I stand up, and I like to go from the ball (before the confrontation with Barnes), but this is football, it can happen.”
The images of the incident with Barnes certainly seem to suggest Sokratis had good reason to respond in the way he did:
All in all, it’s just good to have Arsenal coming out of one of these games with all three points. It’s never fun watching your players suffer rotational fouling and intentional attempts at provocation without any kind of punishment from the referee, but if you get the three points it’s worth it, in the end.