Arsenal have been eliminated from the Europa League at the hands of Unai Emery’s Villarreal side, after we failed to get on the scoresheet at the Emirates as we were frustrated into the stalemate.
We started the match brightly, looking positive in the build-up, but it was Bernd Leno who was the first to be put to work as he was forced to deny Samuel Chukwueze’s long-range effort.
The visitors seemed happy to be happy in possession, but the Nigerian may have been the only one told to try and catch the goalkeeper off guard.
Arsenal continued to work their way up the field, and were gradually making waves into the final third, and Pierre-Emerick’s snapshot teased as it hit the outside of the far post midway through the opening half.
Auba had another effort before the end of the half but was unable to challenge the goalkeeper, and we ended the half with some disappointing crosses into the box, with nobody on the other end of it.
The second-half started with some gusto however. Nicolas Pepe had a great chance minutes after the restart, but he failed to guide his instinctive effort on target.
The same could be said for Emile Smith Rowe only moments after that also when the ball broke to him inside the opposition box, but again we fluffed our lines at the crucial moment.
Despite us having much of the game, Leno again had to pull out another great save to keep us in the match with 30 minutes still to play after the counter-attack, and the anxiety was building as the clock ticked down.
Martinelli came off the bench to replace Odegaard as we carried on in search of that all-important goal.
Our next big chance came on the counter. Nicolas Pepe picked up the ball to run down the right, before laying up the overlapping Hector Bellerin. The Spaniard picks out Aubameyang in the box who leaps high over the two defenders, but his effort bounces off the inside of the post and spins towards goal, but it stayed out.
This was PEA’s last action as he was replaced by Lacazette, and Willian soon followed replacing Tierney.
We continued to pump crosses into the box to no avail, and time wasn’t on our side as continued to struggle to force a real save out of their goalkeeper.
Despite five minutes being added onto the final 90, it wasn’t to be.
We certainly didn’t deserve it on today’s performance, and our bottle in front of goal has ultimately cost us in both legs.
Will the manager’s job now come under question with the severe prospect of not playing in Europe next season?