Arsenal suffered a blow early on against Everton as Phil Jagielka of all people opened the scoring to put the hosts ahead. Arsenal just have not enjoyed themselves on the road and their defenders appear to fall apart under the pressure of a lively home crowd. Unai Emery’s side never recovered from that early setback and lost the game 1-0 damaging their hopes of a top-four finish.
The Gunners are the only Premier League team this season to fail to keep a clean sheet on the road. Even the two teams that have already been relegated this season, Huddersfield and Fulham have managed to keep a home side out. The Terriers incredibly stopped high-flying Wolves scoring in a 2-0 win in November whilst Fulham got a point at Newcastle in a 0-0 draw.
Unai Emery must be aware of his sides’ defensive fragility away and poor form away from home. They boast the third-best home record in the Premier League, behind Liverpool and Man City but away from home comforts, they have just the tenth best record.
They have picked up less points on the road than Crystal Palace, Leicester and Watford and this is mainly due to their woeful defence. Given that they have conceded just 12 goals in front of their own fans this season but on the road then have leaked 27, you can see why they are struggling to pick up points.
Given that Unai Emery only came in this summer, that also means the last time Arsenal kept an away clean sheet, legendary manager Arsene Wenger was in charge. It was his final game as Arsenal manager, as they won 1-0 away at Huddersfield in his final farewell.
A win today would have put Arsenal securely in the top four but this defeat means it is all up for grabs now. They may have to win the Europa League to secure Champions League football next season but looking at they will need to tighten up their defence if that is to be the case.
Napoli will be licking their lips ahead of their meeting next week if they continue to defend like this whilst Unai Emery must surely be looking to improve this are in the summer transfer window. They have heaps of attacking talent but they must be more disciplined at the back if they are to enjoy serious success.