Arsenal slip at Bate Borisov with Lacazette denied goal and sent off
What on earth have Arsenal become? Or what are they even trying to become? These questions cut raggedly through the cold air as Unai Emery’s strange team toiled against Belarusian opponents who have been on a winter break and not played a competitive game for nine weeks. Bate Borisov still managed to more than nullify the best this current flawed Arsenal incarnation could offer and inflict a defeat that was as worrying for its style as for the result.
In a competition in which Emery has history and which he is desperate to win for the dual prize of a trophy and the ticket back into Champions League, Arsenal suffered a chastening evening with no redeeming features. Low on creativity, high on the kind of sudden defensive lapses that cried out to be exploited for an enterprising opponent, their excursion ended with an extra blow as Alexandre Lacazette was sent off for catching Aleksandar Filipovic with an elbow.