EUROPA LEAGUE – Arsenal 1-2 Frankfurt: Defeat and empty seats put more pressure on Emery
PUBLISHED: 21:55 28 November 2019 | UPDATED: 21:55 28 November 2019
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Pressure continues to mount on Arsenal boss Unai Emery after his side lost 2-1 to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League on Thursday night, with empty seats and booing from the Emirates crowd encapsulating the growing frustration in north London.
Home fans stayed away in their droves with plenty of empty seats at the Emirates, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put the Gunners ahead in first-half injury time after a relatively uneventful 45 minutes.
Things unravelled after the break though as Daichi Kamada curled home a brilliant equaliser on 55 minutes, before making it 2-1 as he was left unmarked on the edge of the box from a corner.
The defeat means Arsenal must draw or win against Standard Liege in their final group game to go through, but Unai Emery will have bigger concerns with his job under serious threat and with crowds at the Emirates dwindling.
Emery decided to play with a back four as Shkodran Mustafi was drafted into the defence, while David Luiz joined Granit Xhaka - playing his first game since his outburst against Crystal Palace and subsequent sacking as captain - in midfield.
There were also opportunities for youngsters Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka, who joined Aubameyang in attack.
The first-half was one of few chances, with Aubameyang and Joe Willock getting in each other's way as they challenged for a header on the edge of the six-yard box, while Saka saw an effort smothered by Frankfurt goalkeeper Frederik Ronnow.
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Saka then had a good opening for the Gunners as he was found by Joe Willock just before the break, but his low shot was well kept out by Ronnow.
The Eintracht shot stopper could do little to keep out Aubameyang in added time at the end of the half though as the hosts took the lead.
Martinelli's cross to the back post found the Arsenal captain who took one touch to set himself before shooting low. Ronnow got a touch on the strike, but the ball bounced onto the underside of the bar and then over the line, sending Emery's men into the break ahead.
They weren't ahead for long though as the German side - who had been seeing all of the ball in the second-half - levelled the game on 55 minutes.
Japanese midfielder Kamada was allowed too much time and space on the edge of the area, moving the ball onto his left foot before curling a shot beyond Emiliano Martinez.
With 63 minutes gone, Kamada made it 2-1 as things started to fall apart for the Gunners, with the Frankfurt man left unmarked on the edge of the area before driving into the bottom corner.
As the minutes ticked down and Arsenal failed to find a way back into the game, frustration grew and grew among home supporters.
The home side couldn't find an equaliser and were booed off at full-time, with Emery now certainly feeling the heat on a night that showed just how far the Gunners have fallen.
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