Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka admits ‘we were scared’ after collapsing to draw vs Watford

Roberto Pereya’s late penalty secured a 2-2 draw for the Hornets

Jack Rathborn
Sunday 15 September 2019 19:08 BST
Unai Emery praises Arsenal for comeback against Tottenham

Granit Xhaka admits Arsenal were ‘scared’ and lacked ‘character’ after collapsing to draw 2-2 against Watford.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had given the Gunners a 2-0 lead at Vicarage Road.

But after Sokratis Papastathopoulos gifted Tom Cleverley a goal to halve the deficit, David Luiz hacked down Roberto Pereyra.

The Argentine converted from the spot to earn a point in Quique Sanchez Flores it’s first game back in charge after Javi Gracia’s sacking, but Xhaka reacted furiously to the dropped points.

“We were scared,” Xhaka conceded. “We didn’t have the character anymore. We were too scared in the second half, they pushed us more, but you can’t perform like this.

“Of course mistakes are here, but it’s not an excuse and next time we have to do better. We are very disappointed, we had a good first half and then we came out and played so bad in the second half.

“We paid for that. We knew they had nothing to lose and they would come for us but we didn’t show our game, we were too scared, nobody wanted the ball.

“Every team in the Premier League is strong enough to score so you have to stay calm, be mentally strong and we weren’t today.”

While Unai Emery bemoaned Watford’s superior physicality.

David Luiz and Granit Xhaka appear dejected
David Luiz and Granit Xhaka appear dejected (AFP/Getty)

“Physically they are more stronger than us,” the Spaniard claimed. “So we want to break the lines from the goal-kick and connect to Mesut Ozil, like we did with the first goal.

“We have young players, we are working to improve and they will gain experience from matches like today. We can grow up and learn with these mistakes. We knew that 2-0 was not enough at half time.”

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