Arsenal and Mikel Arteta were ‘embarrassed’ by Unai Emery, says Martin Keown

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Alex Young
·2-min read
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 (PA)
(PA)

Arsenal and Mikel Arteta have been "embarrassed" by former manager Unai Emery, says Martin Keown.

A chaotic first leg of Thursday's Europa League semi-final saw Villarreal storm into the lead in the first half thanks to goals from Manuel Trigueros and Raul Albiol.

Dani Ceballos was then sent off just before the hour, only for Nicolas Pepe to score from the penalty spot and a Etienne Capoue red card level the playing field.

Arteta lined up without a striker as they registered one shot on target - Pepe's from the penalty spot - and Keown was unimpressed by the tactical approach.

"It was an absolutely mad game," he said on BT Sport. "I thought the writing was on the wall for (Arteta). The risk he took not playing with a striker, it looked in disarray.

"Arsenal got away with one. Bernd Leno makes a couple of saves when (Villarreal) should be out of sight. Dani Ceballos has made a catalogue of mistakes in the Europa League. He looked out of his depth tonight. There was a huge hole in midfield which Emery exploited.

“It looked like the former manager was embarrassing the current boss, which must have been embarrassing for Arsenal's owners.

"The consistency has not been there. (Arsenal) have to turn up for the home leg or bad things will happen."

The semi-final tie is Arsenal's third in the Europa League in four years, having reached the final just once in that time.

PA
PA

He added: "Arsenal are still in tie but could have been out. It was how it's been all season, really turbulent as a Gunners fan.

"Is (Arteta) the right manager? ... It was a huge risk not to play with centre forward. When you listen to him, it links to philosophy. Tactics are going to be so important next week, maybe they'll do something on the break next week.

"If anyone can, Arsenal can. But Arteta has to play the correct XI. You have to learn fast or you don't survive."

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