Despite progressing to the last 16, Arsenal fans at the Emirates were pretty appalled by the home side’s display in the second-leg of their Europa League Round of 32 match against Ostersunds.
The Gunners won the first leg 3-0 in Sweden and Arsene Wenger rested some key players ahead of Sunday’s Carabao Cup final against Manchester City.
However, Ostersunds scored two goals within 70 first-half seconds to put Arsenal’s Europa League hopes in serious danger.
The Arsenal players were booed off as the half-time whistle blew at the Emirates – but Wenger’s team talk appeared to do the job.
Sead Kolasinac scored a crucial goal for the hosts in the 47th minute to restore some calm and the match ended 2-1 in Ostersunds favour.
Former Manchester United forward Danny Welbeck was leading the line in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette’s absence.
The 27-year-old England international has been plagued by injuries since joining the Gunners for £16m in 2014.
“I like him [Welbeck] because he can play left, right or up front, and for his quality,” said Wenger in his pre-match press conference.
“He is a useful player and useful is a positive.
“He might not be a goalscorer like Harry Kane but for England he can perfectly play with [Harry] Kane because he can play on the flanks. I want to keep him because he has gone through a torrid time and come out well.”
His performance against Ostersunds will do little to convince Gareth Southgate that Welbeck should be on the plane to Russia, never mind playing alongside Kane.
What Arsenal fans were saying about Welbeck
Twitter was abuzz during Arsenal’s shock 2-1 defeat at home to the Swedish minnows.
Welbeck has managed five goals in 25 appearances in all competitions this season – and it’s no wonder fans are questioning Wenger’s decision to let other forwards leave.
Lucas Perez was loaned out to Deportivo after making only two Premier League starts in an Arsenal shirt.
They make a valid point.
Aubameyang, who is ineligible to play in the Europa League, will surely be leading the line against Man City on Sunday.