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Unai Emery slams Arsenal’s mistakes after Watford comeback

Unai Emery, Arsenal
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Unai Emery wasn’t happy one bit as Arsenal blew a two-goal lead to end up settling for a 2-2 draw at Watford in the Premier League.

After suffering defeat to Liverpool and a draw with Tottenham, Emery and Arsenal headed to Watford desperate for three points.

With Alexandre Lacazette out until October, however, Emery decided to name Mesut Ozil in his midfield. It was the German’s first appearance of the season upon missing the club’s opening four games for safety reasons.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and record signing Nicolas Pepe, therefore, headed the Arsenal attack alone.

Although things didn’t exactly get off to a bright start as Watford piled on the pressure right away. With Quique Sanchez Flores back at the helm, the hosts were keen to mark his return by getting all three points.

But the Hornets’ strong start was soon undone when Sead Kolasinac’s pass found Aubameyang, who fired the ball past keeper Ben Foster in the 21st-minute.

The Gabon captain then doubled Arsenal’s advantage just 11 minutes later to take his tally up to five goals in as many games.

However, Watford worked their way back into the match after the break by capitalising on some rather shambolic errors.

The first one came when defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos lost ball possession inside his own area. It opened the door for Tom Cleverley to score for Watford, and spark hope of a comeback for Flores’ men.

Following this blunder, a nervous-looking Arsenal tried to maintain their lead as Watford searched for an equaliser. And they ultimately conceded another when summer recruit David Luiz tripped Roberto Pereyra in the area.

The Argentine then fired home the penalty to ensure a 2-2 draw, and a third game without a victory for Arsenal.

“They pushed us, Watford last year played like today,” Gunners boss Emery told BBC.

“We were up in the first half and we knew that we needed to score the third. They had the capacity to come back with the supporters and that’s what happened.

“We couldn’t break their pressing in the second half. They are physical, a very strong team. They pushed for our mistakes, they were playing for our mistakes.

“When you are trying to break their lines you can have chances. They won the second half and my summary is it is not a good point.

“We need to continue working. When we tried to play the long ball we lost the ball as well.”

Arsenal, who are currently seventh in the Premier League, will next face Eintracht Frankfurt in a Europa League clash on Thursday in Group F.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, David Luiz, Arsenal, Watford
WATFORD, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 15: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal (14) and team mates Granit Xhaka and David Luiz react during the Premier League match between Watford FC and Arsenal FC at Vicarage Road on September 15, 2019 in Watford, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)