Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has revealed his frustrations at the team's concerning habit of giving away goals to the opposition, after two defensive mistakes saw the Gunners slump to a 2-2 draw with Watford.
Aubameyang netted twice in the first half to put his side ahead, but Tom Cleverley pulled one back after the break following a sloppy goal kick. They grabbed a late equaliser through Roberto Pereyra, who netted a penalty following a clumsy challenge from David Luiz.
He said: “Obviously we didn’t expect [the comeback]. We knew that they were going to try and come back with good intentions, of the kind they demonstrated in the second half. Sadly, we were not able to deal with them well.
“I feel like we are literally giving goals to the opposition, it is up to us to progress in that respect. I don’t want to accuse anyone, you could say that us the attackers could have killed the game off and score a third goal, so I am not going to say it is someone’s fault. It is a shame to concede goals like we did.
"I think it affects us [to lose Alexandre Lacazette through injury]. We know very well that he brings us so much in these sorts of games.”
The centre-back pairing of Luiz and Sokratis Papastathopoulos attracted immense criticism from fans against Watford, just as they have done all season. The pair have made some costly errors in a number of games, despite Luiz being brought in from Chelsea on transfer deadline day to solve their defensive problems.
As noted by Opta, Arsenal faced 31 shots against Watford, which is the most they have faced since Opta began collecting statistics in 2003. They have also been on the receiving end of 96 shots this season, which is more than any other side in Europe's top five leagues.
Today’s result is not good for us. I feel responsible for this result, so I would like to apologise to all of you. I don’t like to hide, and I will keep working hard in order to achieve our goals. pic.twitter.com/to7IOViTcS— Sokratis Papastathopoulos (@SokratisPapa5) September 15, 2019
In attack, they have looked thoroughly impressive. Aubameyang has already netted five goals, whilst Alexandre Lacazette managed two before being forced into a period on the sidelines with an ankle injury.
However, if they are to break into the top four, they must resolve their defensive struggles, and Aubameyang clearly knows that.