3 Reasons why Arsenal failed to beat Sporting Lisbon
Arsenal reserved their place in the Europa League knockout stage despite a 0-0 draw against the Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon on Thursday night. That they maintained an unbeaten run extending it to 15 games now is also commendable. Danny Welbeck who has been a star performer for the Gunners in Europa League was injured in the first half, an injury that looked serious as he had to be stretchered down the tunnel with deep pain.
Gunners were the better side throughout the game but they were not able to test the opposition goalkeeper. Welbeck’s injury really slowed down the game and looked like the Gunners were mentally lost in the game.
Unai Emery told after the match that the injury looks serious and that there will be tests done to ascertain the results and extent of the injury. After winning 11 matches on the run, Gunners have had it tough by drawing 3 of the last 4 matches. But the performance against Liverpool would give them the required confidence going into the next games.
We take a look at three reasons why Gunners felt short in getting a result.
#1 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s lack of clinical finishing
Arsenal struggled to get into top gear against Sporting, but they did have decent chances to snatch a win that would have guaranteed a top spot in the group.
Aubameyang replaced the injured Welbeck towards the end of the first half but saw three good chances wasted. A striker with the calibre of Aubameyang should have taken those chances easily. But the lack of playing time leading the front line played spoilsport if we think from the Gabonese's point of view. Lacazette has been the preferred choice of central striker for the Gunners and Aubameyang plays on the left of a front three.
Even Martin Keown was critical of Aubameyang’s finishing. According to Keown, Aubameyang is the closest thing to Thierry Henry and he has to start living up to those expectations.