(Reuters) - - Lucas Torreira scored with a bicycle kick in the 82nd minute to earn Arsenal a 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town in a scrappy Premier League game on Saturday.
The Uruguayan leapt to volley the ball from a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pass across the face of goal, securing all three points for the Gunners who otherwise only distinguished themselves by having three players booked for diving.
“Our goal is coming later, but it is giving us a deserved result eventually,” Arsenal manager Unai Emery told reporters.
The first half was a comedy of errors for Arsenal, with strikers Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette missing clear scoring opportunities and midfield lynchpin Granit Xhaka frequently passing the ball straight to the opposition.
Referee Paul Tierney dished out seven yellow cards in the half, and nine in the whole match. Arsenal’s Xhaka, Shkodran Mustafi and Matteo Guendouzi were all booked for simulation.
Lacazette appeared to break the stalemate just before halftime, latching on to a sloppy backpass and sidestepping keeper Jonas Lossl to slot the ball into the net, only to be ruled offside. Lossl then tipped a Torreira shot from outside the area just over the bar.
In the end, it fell to a moment of acrobatics from the little Uruguayan to rob the visitors of a much-needed point.
“(Torreira) has quality and he is hungry. He can get into the box and score like today,” Emery said.
“I think today is a very important result.”
Arsenal climbed to third in the table ahead of Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur’s matches later on Saturday, while Huddersfield slipped back into the relegation zone, in 18th place.
Huddersfield, who have not beaten Arsenal since 1971, were unable to register a shot on goal despite breaking up Arsenal’s rhythm for most of the match.
Their manager David Wagner was understandably disappointed not to have held on for the draw.
“If you concede so late in the game, and because of the defensive shift and effort and tactical quality which the players have shown - how we limited Arsenal, how we kept them away from our goal - this is enough if you are Huddersfield Town to deserve a point,” he said.
“Unfortunately we have it not, which is obviously disappointing,” he said.
He was still keen to focus on the positives.
“I can see how we performed defensively today against a top-class side and I know we can keep our heads high,” Wagner said.
Reporting by Hugh Lawson, editing by Ed Osmond