Arsenal boss Unai Emery frustrated by late defensive lapses in Europa League win
LONDON -- Unai Emery called on his Arsenal players to improve their defensive mentality after conceding two late goals in a 4-2 win over FC Vorskla in the Europa League.
The Gunners were cruising toward a dominant victory when Mesut Ozil put them 4-0 up in the 74th minute after two goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and one from Danny Welbeck already had them comfortably in front at the Emirates on Thursday.
But the visiting side from Ukraine pulled two late goals back to leave Emery's team without a single clean sheet this season. While Emery was happy with the overall performance from his players, he was clearly frustrated with the late defensive lapses -- especially after conceding an injury-time goal at Newcastle last weekend as well.
"Our disappointment today is the two goals conceded," Emery said. "We are conceding a few chances to our opposition, the same as at Newcastle. We need to continue to improve on this. Because the last minute at Newcastle, [and] today in the last 20 minutes [we conceded] two goals.
"Our challenge is to be competitive for 90 minutes in each match, and it's one thing to improve. We are speaking before each match to take a mentality of don't concede easy chances. And today I think was a good opportunity for not conceding goals, but I think the last 20 minutes, we need to be better on this competitive aspect."
The two Vorskla goals -- the second of which came with the last kick of the game -- spoiled an otherwise confident debut by goalkeeper Bernd Leno, who was rarely troubled in the opening 60 minutes and showed good composure when playing the ball out from the back.
Stephan Lichtsteiner and Lucas Torreira also made their first Arsenal starts, with Torreira impressing in midfield before being taken off in the second half after receiving two kicks to his leg.
Emery said he is hopeful Torreira will be fit to face Everton in the Premier League on Sunday, and said the midfielder is improving with every game.
"Each minute he's playing he's doing very well," Emery said.
Emery acknowledged that Aubameyang's double could be a vital confidence booster for the striker after he only netted one Premier League goal in five games so far.
"We need, because we are going to play a lot of matches in the next weeks, players with confidence," Emery said. "It's clear, we want them to score. And the players who score take this confidence, like Aubameyang and also Welbeck and Mesut.
"I think there are a lot of positives today from the game."