Arsenal’s set piece failings have been a cause for concern for some time now, and they were on display once again in their recent Europa League quarterfinal clash against Sporting Lisbon. The Gunners were held to a goalless draw at the Emirates Stadium, leaving them in a precarious position ahead of the second leg.
One of the main issues for the North London club has been their inability to convert from set pieces, be it corners, free kicks or penalties. Arsenal have scored just two goals from set pieces in the Premier League this season, a tally that is among the lowest in the division.
This has had a major impact on their overall goalscoring record, as well as their ability to create chances from dead ball situations. The lack of a clear threat in the air has also led to teams being confident in defending set pieces against Arsenal, restricting their attacking options.
Against Sporting Lisbon, the Gunners had a number of set piece opportunities but failed to convert any of them into goals. They also missed a penalty, further highlighting their struggles from dead ball situations.
With the Europa League now a major priority for Arsenal, their set piece failings could well end up costing them more than just a place in the quarterfinals. If they continue to struggle in this area, it could also have an impact on their league form, as well as their chances of success in other cup competitions.
This has been a long-standing issue for Arsenal, and one that manager Unai Emery will need to address if the Gunners are to achieve any sort of success this season. The Spaniard has a wealth of attacking options at his disposal, but they need to be more effective from set pieces if they hope to progress in this season’s Europa League.
There is still hope for Arsenal, with the return leg against Sporting Lisbon still to come. However, they will need to be more clinical in front of goal to ensure that their set piece failings do not come back to haunt them once again.
Overall, Arsenal’s set piece failings have been a major concern this season and could prove to be their downfall in the Europa League and other competitions. If they can improve in this area, the Gunners will have a much better chance of achieving their goals this season.