Arsenal's set piece vulnerability was once again exposed in their recent Europa League draw against Sporting CP. Despite controlling much of the game and creating numerous chances, Arsenal conceded a late equalizer from a free-kick that was expertly headed into the net by the Sporting CP defender Mathieu.
This is not the first time that Arsenal has struggled to defend set pieces this season. In fact, it has been an ongoing issue for the Gunners for several seasons now. The team has conceded a number of goals from set pieces this season, and it's becoming a real concern for Arsenal fans and manager Unai Emery.
There are several reasons why Arsenal has struggled to defend set pieces. First, the team lacks height and physicality in the backline, which makes it difficult to win aerial battles and clear the ball from dangerous areas. Second, the team often fails to organize properly during set piece situations, leaving gaps and opportunities for opposition players to exploit. Finally, there seems to be a lack of focus and intensity during set piece situations, which is leading to costly mistakes.
The problem is not just limited to Arsenal's defense. The team has also struggled to convert set pieces into goals at the other end of the pitch. Arsenal has scored just three goals from set pieces this season, which is a poor return considering the quality of players in their squad.
To address this issue, Arsenal needs to work on several fronts. The team needs to focus on improving its defensive organization and physicality, as well as its attacking strategy from set pieces. They need to practice more and work on their communication during set piece situations, and also look to sign players who can add height and physicality to the backline.
Overall, Arsenal's set piece weakness is definitely a concern for the team and its fans. If they fail to address this issue, it could cost them valuable points and potentially harm their chances of success this season. Unai Emery and his coaching staff must work hard to find a solution to this problem, or else Arsenal's season could go from bad to worse.