Arsenal’s European ambitions are hanging by a thread after a humiliating defeat in Belarus that ended with Alexandre Lacazette being shown a straight red card for elbowing a BATE Borisov player in the face.
Lacazette’s dismissal marked the lowest point of one of the worst nights of Unai Emery’s spell at Arsenal, with the head coach unable to change the game after his side fell behind to a first-half goal.
Emery later insisted that he was not shocked by the defeat, saying that his team deserved more from the match and adding that he had full faith in his players to turn the tie around at the Emirates next week.
The Spaniard will be without the suspended Lacazette, though, the £50m centre forward who has been arguably Arsenal’s most consistent attacker since the turn of the year. “I did not see the action but we need to control the frustration,” said Emery.
“We play another 90 minutes next week and I am sure it is going to be different. The first half was a good performance, we had chances to score. I am happy with the players’ effort. Defensively when they were 1-0 up they were organised and competitive. Our big opportunity is next week at home.