EPL: Unai Emery cries foul after Arsenal's shocking loss
Arsenal manager insists VAR should have ruled in favour of a penalty for his team after 0-1 shocker at Sheffield United
Shefield: Unai Emery claimed Arsenal were unlucky to suffer a shock 1-0 defeat at Sheffield United as Lys Mousset condemned the Gunners to their latest away-day flop on Monday night.
Poor away record
Emery's side are without an away EPL win since the opening weekend of the season after failing to rise to the challenge posed by fired up Sheffield at Bramall Lane. French forward Mousset, making his first EPL start for Sheffield, punished poor Arsenal defending in the first half to score his second goal since signing from Bournemouth. That was enough to send Arsenal crashing to their second defeat of the season, ending an eight-game unbeaten run in all competitions.
The north Londoners sit fifth in the league after a powder-puff performance that showed Emery's rebuilding job is still a work in progress. But Emery insisted Arsenal deserved at least a draw and criticised the failure to give a penalty for a foul on Sokratis. "We didn't deserve to lose. We can speak about two key moments, one is the goal and the other is a clear penalty with Sokratis. With VAR, the foul should have been reviewed, but we have to accept it. We had more chances than them. If we scored had one, we could have controlled better," Emery said after Arsenal's winless run at Sheffield extended to 26 years.
Asked if Arsenal have a mental block in away games, Emery said: "We prepare for the matches in the same way for home and away, and think about winning. We deserved more but they are a very strong defensive team." Under Emery, Arsenal have kept just two clean sheets in 24 away league matches and again they wilted too easily. This was a signature win for the Blades after last season's promotion, putting them in ninth place, just three points behind Arsenal.
The game got off to a contentious start when Sokratis appealed in vain for a penalty after having his shirt tugged by John Egan. Emery's men should have taken the lead when Sead Kolasinac curled a perfect low cross towards Nicolas Pepe in the six-yard box, but he miscued his shot.
Then, Arsenal's long-running set-piece issues resurfaced in the 30th minute. Oliver Norwood's corner reached Jack O'Connell at the far post and he rose above Matteo Guendouzi to head down to Mousset, who poked home after Granit Xhaka failed to react to the danger. Arsenal have conceded 22 league goals from set plays since the start of last season, with only Watford (25) and Everton (24) allowing more.
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