Bernd Leno admits Arsenal were lucky not to lose at Watford on Sunday as his goal was peppered with shots on an afternoon to forget for the Gunners.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s first-half brace appeared to have Arsenal on course for a Premier League victory, only for the Hornets to welcome Quique Sanchez Flores back into the Vicarage Road dugout by staging a comeback as the visitors’ defence crumbled.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos gifted possession to Gerard Deulofeu as the Gunners looked to play out from the back, with Tom Cleverley punishing the Greece international by converting as a result.
Things went from bad to worse when David Luiz tripped Roberto Pereyra inside the box and the Argentinian substitute converted the resulting penalty to level the scores.
In total, Watford had 31 shots during the game compared to just seven for Arsenal and Leno conceded leaving Hertfordshire with a point may have even flattered the visitors.
“I think in the second half we lost completely the control of the game,” the Germany international said.
“The distance from the midfield to the strikers and all the distances from the players were too big. Watford deserved at least the draw.
“It was very frustrating because we controlled the game but also in the first half, you could see that we made two easy mistakes and then at the end we conceded two goals from these kind of mistakes and we were lucky we didn’t lose this game.”
Arsenal have faced more shots in the opening five games of the new Premier League season than any other club across Europe’s top five divisions – but Leno believes the statistics do not always correspond with reality.
“I don’t know why this is but I think many shots are from distance and when you see Watford, they had many chances but sometimes they were shooting for a throw-in and you can’t count every shot,” he said.
“Thirty-one (shots) is like every three minutes, someone is shooting at our goal. It is a statistic but it is not the truth.
“For example, Deulofeu, he was shooting 15 times from distance and of course there were some dangerous shots but not every one.”
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Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham has not ruled out playing for Nigeria.
The 21-year-old, who is the Premier League’s joint leading scorer alongside Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero with seven goals, has two senior England caps to his name, won in friendlies against Germany and Brazil in 2017.
Nigeria have been hoping Abraham can be persuaded to switch allegiance to them.
And when asked about the Nigeria interest, he was quoted by The Telegraph as saying: “I have heard the talks and I’ve not really been focused on that yet.
“I think when the time comes, the time comes. We never know.
“You can never say never, whatever comes first really. It is about focusing on Chelsea and hopefully scoring goals and getting victories.”
Abraham netted a hat-trick for the Blues in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Wolves, having scored back-to-back braces in the previous two matches.
The Chelsea academy graduate has made an impact for the club this term after spending the last three seasons on loan at Bristol City, Swansea and then Aston Villa.
On Tuesday he could make his Champions League debut when Valencia visit Stamford Bridge.
And he said: “I have grown up watching big stars playing in the Champions League, and to play in it myself would obviously be a dream.
“Players like the gaffer (Frank Lampard), Didier Drogba and John Terry are great legends. They have been there and done it. I would like to follow the same path.
“I am delighted to be scoring goals for a team I have grown up loving and have always wanted to play for. It is just an amazing feeling and hasn’t kicked in yet.
“Hopefully this is the beginning of a great career at Chelsea. I’m living the dream and I need to keep it running.”
Earlier in the week, England boss Gareth Southgate said, after not naming Abraham in his most recent squad: “I think with Tammy, he’s a young player that we’ve always liked, we know he’ll score goals.
“We felt (that it was a) bit early this time, but we really can see that he can offer us something moving forward. We obviously gave him a cap back in November of 2017.
“So, for sure, we need to make certain that he feels that the opportunity is going to be there. I’m pretty sure he does. He knows us well enough.”
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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang feels Arsenal are conceding goals very easily.
The North Londoners were held to a 2-2 draw away from home by Watford in what was a poor defensive performance. Striker Aubameyang scored a brace before half-time to provide his team total control ahead of the second half.
But goals from Tom Cleverly and Roberto Pereyra ensured that the teams shared spoils at Vicarage road.
The Gabon international admitted that Arsenal are giving away goals carelessly and need to work on it.
“Obviously we didn’t expect that [the comeback],” the 30-year-old told Canal Plus.
“We knew that they were going to try and come back with good intentions, of the kind they demonstrated in the second half.
“Sadly, we were not able to deal with them well. I feel like we are literally giving goals to the opposition, it is up to us to progress in that respect.”
Arsenal next travel to Eintracht Frankfurt for a Europa League clash before hosting Aston Villa in the Premier League.