Many believed that Arsenal had an excellent chance to snap their first European title since 1994. They hammered a strong Valencia side with convincing 7 goals at the Europa League semifinals, and they had Unai Emery who is known as the specialist in winning the competition.
The Gunners also won their latest meeting against Chelsea in the Premier League, where they scores 2 goals and kept a clean sheet in the process. However, Arsenal's lingering defensive problems stung Unai Emery once again in Baku, as the North London side started to collapse in the second half.
Emery immediately reacted to Chelsea's goal after noticing that Arsenal needed to score to make up for their defensive woes. His changes seemed on point, as Joe Willock, Alex Iwobi, and Matteo Guendouzi all made positive impacts for the team. However, his effort was too late and eventually went in vain.
Here we will take a look at 3 flops who let Unai Emery down.
#1 Laurent Koscielny
Many Arsenal fans relieved after noticing that Emery left Shkodran Mustafi on the bench in this important game. The Gunners captain Laurent Koscielny started ahead of the heavily-criticized German following Mustafi's numerous defensive errors.
The 33-year-old played alongside Sokratis Papasthopoulos and Nacho Monreal in the team's 3-centerbacks formation, tasked on guarding Olivier Giroud. Emery's decision seemed reasonable as Koscielny started in most of Arsenal's Europa League games, playing a total of 840 minutes at the competition and looked more solid than Mustafi.
However, he seemed to emulate the former Valencia player's woeful defending this time, as he was directly at fault over several of Chelsea's goals. He often struggled to catch up with the Blues' pace and was caught in the wrong position at occasions.
He failed to mark Giroud properly in the second half, which led to Chelsea's first goal. He could also do a lot more to prevent the Blues' second and fourth goal. Had Petr Cech not performed at his best, Arsenal would have suffered more.