Arsenal lost the first leg of their Europa League last 32 tie away to BATE Borisov on Thursday night, going down 1-0 to the Belarussian outfit, and after the match their fans were mixed in their reactions towards one of their attackers, who had a difficult evening.
The Gunners were expected to dominate the tie from the outset, with Unai Emery renowned for taking this competition seriously in the past, but it never really looked like playing out that way as the Londoners offered up one of their worst performances of the campaign to date.
With Arsenal not having a Premier League match this weekend because of their FA Cup exit at the hands of Manchester United last month, the Spanish boss chose to pick a strong side for the European tie, but did not get the outcome he craved.
BATE opened the scoring on the stroke of half time, and many expected the Gunners to come roaring out and put things right in the second half, however their struggles continued and then worse was to come in the closing minutes.
Alexandre Lacazette grappled with an opposing defender and wrestled clear of his man by throwing an elbow at him, only for the Arsenal forward to be shown a straight red card, which will keep him out of the second leg at the Emirates Stadium next Thursday.
The Frenchman was dismissed late enough in the contest that it didn’t make an impact on the first leg of the tie, but needing to win by two goals to go through by right when the clubs meet in London, his absence could be felt down the line.
Arsenal fans had every right to be annoyed at the forward, and some were, with others offering a more sympathetic view of the incident when they posted their reactions on social media.
Here are some of their messages:
— 𝙅𝙤𝙚𝙡 𝙂𝙧𝙚𝙚𝙣 🏴 (@JGBox) February 14, 2019
👏 @LacazetteAlex Arsenal legend in the making, We all felt your frustrations tonight! We need more players with your determination and passion in the team! Keep going Laca 💪⚽🥅 #Laca #AFC https://t.co/fI0ojxb7kN
— Steve Collins (@S14Collins) February 14, 2019
It happens. Frustration gets the better of us all at times. Learn from it and move on. #AFC 👊
— MJL (@mjl1988) February 14, 2019
— Harry Symeou 🎙✍🏼 (@HarrySymeou) February 14, 2019
Ahh well, I know it’s a defeat and yeah we served up some rubbish but confident we’ll dismantle them at home, even without Lacazette. A performance to forget pretty quickly #AFC
— James Dodd (@JamesDoddFOX) February 14, 2019
Wow. That was BAD. Deserved to lose. Very poor in all areas. Needed Ozil tonight. Only thing I will criticise Emery on for not picking him. Lacazette stupid and deservedly sent off. Fully expect a win in the return leg but no away goal always risky. #AFC #BATARS
— James Bower (@TheBowMonster) February 14, 2019
— Sam Barham (@Sam_Barham) February 14, 2019
Wow. Just to top it off , Lacazette not playing next week, he be sat with Ozil and Ramsey in the stands no doubt #AFC
— gaz edwards (@gazed87) February 14, 2019