Arsenal’s European ambitions may be hanging by a thread after their shocking defeat in Belarus but coach Unai Emery is confident his side can still qualify.
Bate Borisov secured the winner when Dragun headed in from a set piece. And the night got worse for Arsenal after Lacazette’s dismissal changed the game plan.
The Spaniard will be without the French man who has arguably been the most consistent attacker since the turn of the year. “I did not see the action but we need to control the frustration,” said Emery via the Telegraph.
“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.
“I trust in our players and in our stadium with our supporters. We can win or lose but I trust in our work and preparations to make a different result.”
The Spaniard once again remained coy about the future of Mesut Ozil despite returning to full fitness as the Gunners lacked the creative spark in the middle of the park.
“Those that were here, we can win with them and we deserved that,” Emery said. “Last week we won and we played with the same players. We deserved to win but did not get the result. They were very organised. We can win with every player and lose with the same players.”
🗣 "We’ve made it more difficult for ourselves… but you have to pick yourself up and make sure that you’re ready for the second leg."
Reaction from a disappointing night in the #UEL 👇
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 14, 2019
The night was made worse for Arsenal when Aleksei Baga, the BATE head coach, later said he was not surprised by how poor the visiting side had been. “It was not a surprise for us,” said Baga.
“We were preparing hard tactically and there was no surprise at all to see such a game from Arsenal.”
“I knew before the match it would be two games,” said Emery. “We wanted to get the best result like we did before. I respect them and watched the matches they played. Defensively they are well organised. We worked to stop them but they scored one.
“In attacking moments we had more chances than them but the last action was not efficient. We did all we can to win. It’s the first 90 minutes. We know it’s more difficult [but in the] next game we will continue our work.”