Emery won't shift blame to men for Wolves debacle

LONDON • Unai Emery refused to give up on Arsenal's Champions League qualification hopes after seeing his men embarrassed by Wolves in a 3-1 Premier League defeat at Molineux on Wednesday.

Ruben Neves, Matt Doherty and Diogo Jota all scored in the first half to condemn the Gunners to a third defeat in four games, severely denting their hopes of a top-four finish with just three games to go.

While the Arsenal manager Emery admitted that his fifth-placed team (66 points) were outplayed, with Sokratis Papastathopoulos netting a consolation, he insisted they would continue to fight for Champions League football next season. They are in a battle with Tottenham (70 points), Chelsea (67) and Manchester United (64) for two spots in Europe's top club competition.

After their seventh away loss, with just a clean sheet this term, he was asked whether he would have harsh words with his players.

He said: "I am usually very critical with myself and I am angry with myself that we didn't do the game plan, (but) not with the players.

"First, it is with me and after that, my style and idea is to look in front and find a solution, not who is the player who is worst.

"The solution for me is... on Sunday at Leicester, (we) get our best performance and the best possibility to take the three points."

Wolves, who are seventh and remain on course for their best finish since their sixth place in 1980, were clinical in their finishing.

But Arsenal's wounds were also to a large extent self-inflicted - no thanks to careless passing, brittle defending and an erratic display of goalkeeping from Bernd Leno, who was culpable for the hosts' second and third goals.

Emery refused to criticise his No. 1, adding: "I don't want to speak individually about the players. We need to recover our confidence."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 26, 2019, with the headline 'Emery won't shift blame to men for Wolves debacle'. Print Edition | Subscribe