Martin Keown handed out criticism to Arsenal duo Willian and Cedric Soares after the team’s Europa League performance on Thursday night against Slavia Prague.
The Gunners recorded a 1-1 draw tonight in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie.
They were heading for a decent result when Nicolas Pepe came off the bench to score in the 86th minute with a calm lofted finish over the goalkeeper.
Unfortunately, Slavia grabbed themselves a vital away goal at the Emirates Stadium with a 93rd minute goal from Tomas Holes from a corner kick.
It means that Mikel Arteta’s side need to go get a result next week in the away leg in Prague to reach the semi-finals.
Pundit and ex-Arsenal defender Keown highlighted the left wing as a real issue for his former club.
Left-winger Willian failed to make the most of his opportunity after being recalled to the side with a quiet display. Meanwhile, Kieran Tierney’s injury absence meant that conventional right-back Cedric came into the team as a left-back, and there wasn’t quite the right balance with the right-footer.
“I thought the left-hand side for Arsenal looked particularly weak until those changes were made. Willian, wasn’t really in the game. Cedric, he doesn’t give us that width without Kieran Tierney down that left-hand side,” Keown told BT Sport 1 (10:03pm, 8 April).
Willian, who was handed a big opportunity with the start, wasted it.
As for Cedric, he was solid enough in the full-back role, and it’s not his fault that he can’t have the same effect with overlapping runs due to the fact he can’t whip in left-footed crosses like Tierney.
The scoreline is 1-1 on aggregate after the first leg, but Slavia going into next week knowing they are brilliant at home and have the luxury of the away goal already in the bank.