Unai Emery admits Arsenal paid the price for their first half profligacy as his side stumbled to a frustrating 1-1 draw against Brighton at the AMEX Stadium.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang continued his hot scoring streak with a clinical finish to break the deadlock on seven minutes but the Gabon international later squandered a glorious opportunity to double the Gunners lead when put through one-on-one with Seagulls keeper Mat Ryan.
Within five minutes, Jurgen Locadia took advantage of wretched defending by Stephan Lichsteiner to equalise and with their confidence stemmed, the visitors struggled to create any other chances of note.
“I’m a little disappointed,” Emery admitted afterwards to the BBC. “I think the first half was key in the match. We started winning and had another two chances, and they saved from [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang.
“We didn’t concede [many] chances for them but they drew level. Second half we could not impose our game plan. We did not make more clear chances to win the match.
“It’s our process, we are leaving one process with the team. We can continue in our way with this point. It would be better if we won but I think the team worked well.
“If we scored our chances in the first half we could have won. In the second half we couldn’t impose our game.”
Desperate to engineer a change in his side’s fortunes, Emery took off Mesut Ozil at half time and later removed Alex Lacazette and Laurent Koscielny, the latter’s exit leading to a change in formation. Having enjoyed success making game-changing decisions earlier in the season, it wasn’t to be today.
Explaining his decision to remove Ozil, Emery explained: “It was tactical. It’s the same every match. Sometimes I change it tactically when I need something to change.”