Unai Emery’s Arsenal gave up a lead for the fourth game in a row as we stumbled to a 1-1 draw against Vitoria in Portugal.
In the pouring rain, the Gunners outpassed their opponents but mustered just one shot on target; a header by Shkodran Mustafi that found the net with 10 minutes remaining.
A win would have seen us qualify from Europa League Group F with two games to spare but a minute into stoppage time the home side found a deserved equaliser as Bruno Duarte netted with an acrobatic effort.
There’s no point sugarcoating things. Arsenal were awful from start to finish, the players, set up with a three-man backline, looking bereft of confidence as they attempted to execute a game plan that seemed to involve avoiding the centre of the pitch where possible.
After the game, Emery, whose job is now very much on the line, admitted his players toiled in the final third.
“The players tried and we were close to winning but in the last minute, they pushed a lot and scored,” he told BT Sport.
“In the Europa League it’s about being first in the group and at the moment we are. It’s still a possibility to be [finish] first.
“We tried. They are a very competitive team and it was very important for us to be strong defensively. I think we did that and we did better offensively.
“It’s not easy to have a lot of chances. We want to win but in the table we are the first and that is our target.”
Arsenal now have the unenviable task of taking on in-form Leicester at the King Power on Saturday before the Interlull kicks in. It feels like things are coming to a head.