‘Our team is so polite. They’re such gentlemen’: Dundalk boss Filippo Giovagnoli heaps praise on his players as they become first side in Europa League history not to commit a single foul in their defeat at Arsenal
- Dundalk did not concede a single foul in their 3-0 defeat to Arsenal on Thursday
- The Irish side became the first team in Europa League history to achieve this
- Filippo Giovagnoli praised his side’s perfect conduct at the Emirates Stadium
- The Italian boss maintains that his side still fought to try and win in north London
The Lilywhites were comprehensively beaten 3-0 by the Gunners on Thursday night thanks to goals from Eddie Nketiah, Joe Willock and Nicolas Pepe but had an impeccable disciplinary record at the Emirates Stadium clash.
Italian interim boss Giovagnoli maintained that his side still fought hard during the game but chose not to use brute force to stop Arsenal from attacking them.
Filippo Giovagnoli described his team as ‘polite’ and ‘gentlemen’ in their 3-0 loss to Arsenal
The Irish side became the first team in Europa League history not to concede a foul in a match
The Dundalk manager said after the game: ‘Our team is so polite. They’re such gentlemen.
‘They work hard and fight hard but won’t use other things to stop the opponent.’
The Irish side, who suffered their second Europa League defeat of the season on Thursday night, managed to hold the Gunners’ attack off for 42 minutes but a goalkeeping error from Gary Rogers at a defensive corner allowed Nketiah to prod home.
The Gunners won with goals from Eddie Nketiah (left), Joe Willock (right) and Nicolas Pepe
Two minutes later, Arsenal doubled their advantage towards the end of the half as Willock finished a quick breakaway move from the Gunners by scoring high into the Dundalk net.
Just seconds into the second-half, Pepe scored a fine curling effort into the top corner with his weaker right-foot to secure the match and the points for Mikel Arteta’s side.
Giovagnoli was nearly not allowed to sit on the touchline at the Emirates Stadium due to not having the right UEFA coaching badges, but Europe’s governing body granted the Italian permission to sit on the Dundalk bench in north London.
Giovagnoli (right) maintains his side still fought hard against Arsenal despite the lack of fouls
Before August, the Italian had never coached an adult team and was working as the director of coaching at the Metropolitan Oval Academy in the New York borough of Queens when he was surprisingly given the job for one of Ireland’s biggest teams.
‘The players appreciate the way we are judging them by what they do on the field and nothing else. I hope our story can be an example for everyone.’