Martin Keown’s description of Arsenal’s shock loss in Europa League will please Gunners fans

Arsenal legend Martin Keown spared no harsh words for Unai Emery and the Gunners after a dismal 1-0 defeat in the Europa League round of 32 first leg clash against BATE Borisov in Belarus on Thursday night. Playing in freezing conditions, Arsenal had striker Alexandre Lacazette sent off as the club produced the worst display since Emery’s appointment as Arsene Wenger’s replacement according to the former England defender.

Stanislav Dragun’s first-half header was enough to ensure the Belarusian champions will take a one-goal advantage into the second leg at the Emirates Stadium next week. Lacazette then compounded a hopeless evening by being sent-off late on for an elbow on Aleksandar Filipovic to end any hope of a comeback. The loss was the fourth in the last seven games in all competitions for Emery, whose encouraging start is quickly being replaced by a typical mid-season downturn.

The Spaniard replaced Arsene Wenger in the summer but has failed to seismically improve on the twilight of the club legend’s 22-year spell at the helm. Speaking to BT Sport, Keown said: “As poor as I can remember, certainly under Emery it is the worst performance we will have seen. BATE you have to give credit to them, but Arsenal just didn’t have the penetration and there was sloppiness within their play. You could blame the pitch but that is a poor excuse. You have to be better than this.

However, Keown added that he absolutely expects Alex Iwobi and the rest of the Arsenal team to turn up for the return leg and book a place in the next round of the Europa League: “In the second half you would have expected a response from Emery and his team having spoken to them at half-time. I fully expect Arsenal to win the second leg but that is a very disappointing performance tonight.”

Though Arsenal mustered 16 shots on goal, only three tested opposition goalkeeper Denis Scherbitski. Also, Lacazette did have the ball in the net after the break but was correctly given offside from Sead Kolasinac’s cross. Emery is a former three-time winner of the Europa League with Sevilla, but will need to defy recent history if he is to take Arsenal into the last-16. After losing the first game, the north Londoners have not won a two-legged European tie since they beat Porto in the 2009-10 Champions League, overcoming a 2-1 deficit to prevail 6-2 on aggregate.

Image result for bate 1-0 arsenal getty

How poor were Arsenal at BATE Borisov? Share your ratings of the London team in the comments section.