If Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta could have chosen any player to hit that last-gasp chance against Olympiacos on Thursday night, it would have been Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The prolific forward, who netted a stunning overhead kick only minutes earlier, somehow missed the target from eight yards with only the goalkeeper to beat in the dying seconds.
The two minutes of stoppage-time had already been played when the ball fell kindly to Aubameyang - but the Gabon international, to everybody’s shock, was unable to apply the finish that would have sent Arsenal into the Europa League last 16.
Youssef El-Arabi’s dramatic 119th-minute winner silenced the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal, who currently sit ninth in the Premier League table, are now facing a battle to qualify for next season’s Europa League. A spot in the Champions League, meanwhile, appears to be out of reach for Arteta’s side.
- Arsenal knocked out of Europa League by Olympiacos
- Aubameyang close to tears after horror miss
- Odion Ighalo scores first Man Utd goal
Aubameyang was understandably crestfallen after the match.
The 30-year-old, who has scored 20 goals in 31 games this season, was brave enough to conduct a live interview with BT Sport, despite missing the guilt-edged chance that would have sent Arsenal through.
But the poor guy looked a broken man.
“[I am] very very disappointed. What can I say. It’s very hard, very tough,” Aubameyang admitted.
“I think we missed putting some pace in the game, that cost us today. The last minute goal was unlucky for us.”
Asked how he missed the chance at the death, he added: “I don’t even know, I feel very very bad. But that can happen. I don’t know how I missed this chance. I was tired, I had some cramps but I had to score that goal.
“It was tough because they played very deep, it was hard to find the solutions in the final third. It was a really tough game and tough to find some space.
“We try to keep improving in the league and win as many games as possible and we’ll see what our chance to qualify is.”
Watch the interview in full here...
Many Arsenal fans are now fearing that Aubameyang will leave the club this summer.
Time will tell.
There will certainly be plenty of interest in Aubameyang from top clubs if Arsenal are not playing European football next season.
Arteta recently admitted that he’s desperate to keep his captain, who he described as the club’s “most important player”, but the Gunners may be forced to cash-in this summer if it appears that the player, whose current deal expires in 2021, decides not to renew his contract.News Now - Sport News