All Arsenal fans are well aware that we have had a brilliant unbeaten record until today, but we also know that we really haven’t played so well. And defensively we have only had one clean sheet in ten games, so it is perhaps quite lucky that we have gone so far unbeaten.
But Unai Emery is well aware that this game was not much different to our previous matches, but he knows it was likely to happen. He said after the game: “We could lose and we lost. In the 90 minutes we had different issues in the first and the second half. In the second half we were better with control in the game and creating more chances than them, controlling the transitions. But with a very small action they scored the goal. Also they deserve it. They played with very big motivation, with the supporters pushing. Our game today was very similar to how we have played before, but the result is different.”
Admittedly we were short of defenders, but we have hardly been impressive previously with our best back line, but Emery tried to put a positive spin on today’s defensive line up. “But I think they worked very well. It was very good news for Koscielny, a very good performance over 90 minutes. Physically, he could play the 90 minutes. Other players, like Xhaka played very well, and Lichtsteiner also. We conceded not many chances for them, but their efficiency was good. We also had chances to score more than the two goals but we didn’t score. Maybe the difference is this. The control in the game over 90 minutes is more for us than them. We need to continue improving details, because three times we conceded chances.”
WE all knew that this was coming though from our previous lucky wins when we have given untold chances to the opposition but have ended up winning. We all know the defence is a shambles and it hasn’t been helped by our continuing injuries at the back,but there has been something fundamentally wrong with our back line for a few years. I just hope Emery is aware and will do something about it very soon. It is hardly going to be fixed in just six months is it?