Stephan Lichtsteiner to blame for Arsenal's poor defending against Manchester City, says Alex Scott

Aguero opened the scoring 48 seconds into the match before piling further misery on the Arsenal defence

Kishan Vaghela
Monday 04 February 2019 12:47
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Unai Emery insists inexperienced Arsenal will improve

Stephan Lichtsteiner was “all over the place” against Manchester City, according to former Arsenal defender and pundit Alex Scott.

The Switzerland international suffered another difficult afternoon with Alex Iwobi on the right-hand side in the Gunners’ 3-1 defeat at the Etihad Stadium, a result which saw them drop to sixth in the Premier League table.

Lichtsteiner, 35, was at fault for City’s second goal, losing the run of Raheem Sterling inside the box, while Nigeria international Iwobi lost the ball in his own penalty area for Sergio Aguero’s 48-second opener.

“Lichtsteiner is all over the place, he doesn’t know whether to close the player down,” Scott said on Sky Sports.

“Him and Iwobi are getting popped around the side,” she added.

The Swiss right-back joined Arsenal on a free transfer last summer after his contract with Serie A champions Juventus expired.

The transfer was initially met with much enthusiasm, but Lichtsteiner has struggled to adapt to the intensity of the Premier League, with calls for outcast Carl Jenkinson to replace him in the starting line-up.

Unai Emery’s options at right-back are limited due to the anterior cruciate ligament injury regular starter Hector Bellerin suffered last month against Chelsea, which is expected to keep the Spaniard out for between six and nine months.

Stephan Lichtsteiner had a difficult match against Manchester City

Creative midfielder Mesut Ozil was an unused substitute in Manchester for a game in which Arsenal had just four shots, but Graeme Souness supported Emery’s stance on the German.

“He has not been afraid to drop the German, who goes through the motions at times,” Souness said.

“He has sent out a message of ‘it’s my way or no way’.

“If you tolerate that from a star player, then it’s an excuse for the rest to go down the same road, and that will get you nowhere.

“Emery has confronted that but when you take on big players you have to be winning games.

“By making Ozil captain for Tuesday’s win over Cardiff City, the Arsenal manager used the carrot after the stick, saying: ‘There’s still a place for you, show me you have a future here’,” he added.

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