Arsenal are out of the Europa League. Barring a Premier League miracle, they’re out of European competition entirely for the first time in 25 years. And they’ve got nobody but themselves to blame. All they needed to do was score a single goal at home against a mediocre Villarreal side to advance to a final. And they couldn’t do that.
Arsenal generated next-to-nothing going forward in a match where they absolutely had to score — less than 1 xG. Mikel Arteta’s side managed two shots from open play this evening and only one from open play in the first leg. They failed to truly test Villarreal’s keeper Rulli, who was clearly nervous / not very good and was spilling balls left and right. You’ve got to recognize that he’s off his game and shoot any time you’ve got even a half-space.
The blame lies squarely with the manager.
Why take off Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, your captain, highest paid player, star striker, and the guy who has hit two posts on the evening? Why leave a clearly gassed Kieran Tierney on the pitch so long? Why wait so long to bring on Gabriel Martinelli? Why bring on Willian, who has done absolutely nothing all season, at all?
It’s tough to say whether today’s poor performance and Europa League elimination are rock bottom for the club, but that’s because Arsenal may have further to fall. This sucks.