The Gunners for the first time since 1967 have conceded three goals in three consecutive Premier League games.
Arsenal’s top-four hopes suffered another blow after Leicester City took advantage of Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ dismissal on Sunday. Ten-man Arsenal slipped to a third consecutive Premier League loss as Jamie Vardy’s late brace sealed Leicester City’s 3-0 win at the King Power Stadium.
Defeats to Crystal Palace and Wolves in the past week had already damaged the Gunners’ hopes of securing a top-four spot and will be forced to rely on winning the Europa League to enter the Champions League. After the game Unai Emery gives his assessment of his team’s poor performance.
Unai Emery admitted Arsenal’s confidence has been rocked again ahead of a potentially decisive week of the season. The 10-man Gunners crashed to a third successive Premier League defeat at Leicester who deservedly triumphed on Sunday.
Arsenal were second best even before youngster Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ first-half sending off for two bookings. They ended up losing 3-0, which could have been even worse had keeper Bernd Leno not made a number of stops. It was the first time since 1967 that Arsenal have conceded three goals in three consecutive top-flight matches. It is a nightmare for boss Emery who faces a Europe League semi-final first leg against Valencia on Thursday before Arsenal’s penultimate League game at home to Brighton to try to finish in the top four.
The Spanish coach, 47, said: “Today was a match to take confidence and recover our confidence. We needed to be strong defensively and also to win the match and improve our moment. Our confidence can stand up and stand down.” Emery set his team up surrender the majority of possession to the hosts as he sought to rebuild his side’s belief with a solid defensive shape. He added: “Our game-plan was to be strong in our defensive moments and in attacking moments to take our chances attacking their back four. They were with the possession but the idea at home in football is to control possession and we were good.”
“We wanted to grow in 90 minutes and to take our opportunities to win by being competitive and being strong in our mentality. But with the second yellow card it gave us a lot of problems to continue in our game-plan and be efficient.That has conditioned the result a lot. I don’t agree with the first yellow card. I don’t think it was a yellow card. But the players worked very well. I am proud of them.”
Arsenal were rotten and can consider themselves fortunate to still be in with a faint shot of qualifying for next season’s Champions League. A team that defends like this should have no right to be challenging for a top-four spot or to be playing in the Champions League.