Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta admitted that he thought Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was ‘unlucky’ not to convert a ‘big, big chance’ for the Gunners in the final minutes of the 2-1 defeat to Villarreal.
Arteta was questioned on how much of a ‘difference’ the club captain hitting the back of the net in that moment would’ve made to the tie, with the Spaniard insisting ‘you have to put them in the net’.
Thomas Partey played it in behind for Aubameyang, who made his return after a 4-match absence due to the effects of malaria he contracted during the international break, but it wasn’t meant to be.
Aubameyang turned away from his marker very well but it all went awry when it came to the finish, the 31-year-old slipped as he struck the ball, taking power off the strike and making it a simple save.
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Mikel Arteta believes that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was ‘unlucky’ with the ‘big chance’ miss for Arsenal that came late on against Villarreal… pic.twitter.com/F3m73ACyaD
— CaughtOffside (@caughtoffside) April 29, 2021
“We know big chances like that, to give yourself the best possible … you have to put them in the net.”
“He was very unlucky, because I think he slipped just before he took the shot and at the end it didn’t go through. But, that was a big, big chance obviously.”
Aubameyang has hit 14 goals and contributed two assists during a season in which he was handed a marquee new contract early on, but has experienced lengthy spells of inconsistency throughout.
The Gabonese superstar has endured two separate spells that have seen him without a goal in five Premier League matches this season, which hasn’t been ideal for a side that are already up and down.
Whilst the importance of tonight’s chance was massive, Aubameyang was making his return to action, so he should perhaps be forgiven for being a little off, as long as he rectifies the blunder soon.