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Martin Keown says Arsenal forward wasn’t ‘fired up’ in the Benfica draw

SL Benfica v Arsenal FC  - UEFA Europa League Round Of 32 Leg One
Photo by Danilo Di Giovanni/Getty Images

Arsenal

Martin Keown says Arsenal forward wasn’t ‘fired up’ in the Benfica draw

Martin Keown has questioned the attitude of Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang following his performance last night.

The attacker started during Arsenal’s 1-1 draw against Benfica in the Europa League Round of 32 first leg tie.

Mikel Arteta’s side scored a vital away goal through Bukayo Saka to give them a slight advantage ahead of next week’s return leg.

But the Gunners will feel they should have won the game, as they missed some clear goalscoring opportunities and dominated for large moments.

Aubameyang, 31, missed a simple tap in that looked easier to score than miss in the first half from just six yards.

The forward squandered another couple of attempts on goal before being taken off late on and it was a frustrating night for him.

 

Keown was heavily critical of the Arsenal captain after the Benfica match:

“It was a really strange performance from Aubameyang [against Benfica]. He’s a player that scored a hat-trick at the weekend and it looked as if now he’d reignited his career,” Keown told talkSPORT.

“And last night mysteriously he didn’t hit the heights. He had a glaring opportunity he missed. Two or three opportunities were perhaps he made the wrong decisions, but he didn’t look like he was really fired up.”

SL Benfica v Arsenal FC - UEFA Europa League Round Of 32 Leg One

(Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

TBR’s View:

Aubameyang doesn’t need telling he should have scored against Benfica, as he’s a striker that has made a career out of being a clinical finisher.

It’s been a stop-start campaign for him, but he can take heart from the fact he scored a hat-trick just a few days earlier against Leeds United in the Premier League.

A player of his class will see his quality shine through, which is why his tally of 11 goals in 24 games this season is a solid base to try build off in the next few months.

He’s getting the chances around the box and the past coupe of games the manager has preferred him centrally rather than on the left wing.

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