Lens 2-1 Arsenal: Arteta's Unbeaten Run Halted, Saka Injured

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Lens 2-1 Arsenal: Arteta’s Unbeaten Run Halted, Saka Injured

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Arsenal faced their first defeat of the season in a thrilling Champions League encounter against Lens, marking the French side’s first home game in the competition in two decades.

The Gunners, riding high with an unbeaten streak of 11 games, initially took the lead in northern France courtesy of a superb early finish by Gabriel Jesus. However, their advantage was short-lived as Adrien Thomasson capitalized on David Raya’s errant pass, equalizing for Lens.

To make matters worse for Arsenal, star player Bukayo Saka had to be substituted due to injury, raising concerns just days before their much-anticipated Premier League clash with Manchester City.

Despite chances created by Kai Havertz, Leandro Trossard, Reiss Nelson, and Emile Smith Rowe, Arsenal couldn’t find the finishing touch. Manager Mikel Arteta lamented the team’s performance in both attacking and defensive areas, emphasizing the need to be more clinical in front of goal and to improve their defending in the box to secure victories in future matches.

It’s true we didn’t generate enough threat in the final third,” Arteta noted, “Like in many occasions, we didn’t provoke enough spaces. And just like in the PSV game, it was about the boxes. And we didn’t defend the box well enough to win the game. You don’t generate ten clear-cut chances in the Champions League. When you get there, you have to put the ball in the back of the net. We have to defend the box much better than we have done.

Reference:

https://www.islingtontribune.co.uk/article/saka-injured-as-arsenal-suffer-shock-defeat-against-lens

https://www.reuters.com/sports/soccer/arsenal-suffer-double-blow-with-saka-injured-loss-lens-2023-10-04/

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