Football

Arsenal legend criticizes the club after narrow escape in the Europa League

With Arsenal barely making the Europa semi-final after struggling with a 2-2 draw away at CSKA Moscow, an Arsenal legend has made a shocking claim about his former side.

The Gunners struggled in Moscow and not for the first time in their foray into European football but somehow managed to make it out despite conceding two goals. They went into the second leg with a 4-1 lead over CSKA Moscow but despite that struggled to create chances and even put shots on target with the home side dominating the game.

Arsenal’s players celebrate a goal during the UEFA Europa League second leg quarter-final football match

However, with Arsenal, a mere one goal away from elimination, former Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck pulled the Emirates stadium side back into the game with a crucial away goal before Aaron Ramsey added a second late into the second half. But this didn’t stop former Arsenal legend and Premier League winner Martin Keown criticizing the club for their “lack of purpose and cohesiveness”.

Speaking as a pundit for BT Sport, Keown went on to say “Wenger will be breathing a huge sigh of relief, because at one stage tonight it looked like they would be going the same way as some of the other big teams in Europe. They seemed to lack purpose, they were losing individual battles, then Elneny finds the pass of the game and you’re wondering what all the fuss is about.

You start to look, can Arsenal win the competition, on this performance no.  Away from home is their Achilles heel. They didn’t look like a team. In the end they showed character, they needed to, and Wenger has a lot of work to do if this team is to go beyond the semi finals.”

With Atletico Madrid, Red Bull Salzburg, Marseille and Arsenal making it through to the semi-finals, things are going to get tougher for the Gunners. RB Salzburg fought tooth and nail, scoring 3 goals in four minutes to push themselves past Lazio, while Marseille scored five goals to make sure they made it to the semi-finals.

Author’s take:

Martin Keown is absolutely right, the Gunners need to improve to make a final berth especially given the teams that have fought to make it this far. However, they did show their character and toughness to make it beyond CSKA Moscow, things will only get worse if Arsenal don’t play their best from here onwards.

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