Unai Emery’s Arsenal succumbed to a shock 1-0 defeat at BATE Borisov in the first leg of their Europa League round-of-32 tie on Thursday night. BATE midfielder, Stanislaw Drahun, headed home just moments before the half-time whistle to put the Belarusian outfit ahead. The Gunners created a good number of chances in the second half, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
Here are three things we learned from Arsenal’s defeat in Belarus.
3. A Night to Remember for BATE
When the tie was announced, most fans considered it to be a walk in the park for the Premier League outfit. BATE Borisov, however, came into the match looking for a positive result, and successfully toppled the odds to get it.
BATE, as expected, didn’t have much of the ball — only 23% of it — but they were clinical when mattered, keeping 3 of their 6 attempts on target.
2. Arsenal’s lack of Desire
Unai Emery demands each of his players to be absolutely committed on the pitch, but surprisingly, the Gunners were far from it on Thursday night. Arsenal had all the possession in the world but failed to create anything meaningful in the final-third of the pitch.
They struggled to penetrate BATE’s low block and eventually failed to threaten a team who are numerous rungs below them in the food chain, managing to register only 3 of their 16 shots on target.
1. Lacazette’s Horrendous Night
Alexandre Lacazette was given the nod ahead of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on Thursday night. The Frenchman, on his day, is usually a force to be reckoned with, but sadly, last night just wasn’t meant to be his.
He found the back of the net only ten minutes into the second half, but saw it get rightly ruled out for offside. To make matters worse, he was shown a straight red for lashing out at Aleksandar Filipovic, ruling him out for next week’s crucial return leg.