Football

Arsenal’s ineptitude in loss to Man City kicks up storm of criticism

Arsenal were the clear underdogs in the League Cup final against Manchester City yesterday morning (Singapore time) but still, few saw the 3-0 defeat for the Gunners coming.

They found no answer to Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany and David Silva's goals.

The Gunners' display was so inept that even former Arsenal players lashed out at the team.

Ex-midfielder Paul Merson said on talkSPORT: "One team was playing in a cup final, the other team looked like they were playing a testimonial...

"They are the worst team in the country without the ball, and it was proven again yesterday."

Last Thursday, former Arsenal defender Martin Keown said he was "embarrassed" to watch the team's first-half performance in a 2-1 home loss to Ostersunds in the Europa League.

Yesterday, he launched a similarly scathing attack on the club he won three English Premier League, three FA Cup and one Cup Winners' Cup titles with.

He said in the Daily Mail: "He (Wenger) was clinging to his artful brand of football a few years ago. The brand took a major hit here. Arsenal never laid a glove on City.

BELIEF

"Wenger is a fighter. When I played under him, his biggest strength was that he could create this belief that we could beat anyone. That belief was glaringly absent at Wembley."

Ex-Manchester United fullback Gary Neville, repulsed by what he was seeing during the game, was just as critical.

The Sky Sports commentator took issue with a perceived lack of effort from some players when they should have been fighting to claw back into the game.

He said: "Look at (Aaron) Ramsey walking, he's walking. (Granit) Xhaka's walking. Mesut Oezil is walking.

"Don't walk at Wembley. Don't walk on a football pitch. It's impossible. Run.

"Look at Xhaka and Ramsey walking back, they are central midfield players."

Arsenal have now lost a record six League Cup finals - three under Wenger, who has never won the trophy - while City have triumphed three times in the last five years, reported Reuters.

The Frenchman rued his team's defensive mistakes.

He said: "We self-inflicted our punishment.

"You can never say you're not disappointed when you concede goals the way we conceded goals.

"But you take the good and the bad when you're the manager and that's part of the game."

Football