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Granit Xhaka admits Arsenal were too scared against Watford

Arsenal

This was the first time that Arsenal failed to win a Premier League match in which they were at least two goals ahead since April 2016 when they drew 3-3 with West Ham

Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka says the Gunners “were too scared” as they let slip a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at Watford.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice in the first half for the visitors but the Hornets hit back after the break through Tom Cleverley and a late Roberto Pereyra penalty.

Watford finished with 31 shots on goal, 23 of those coming in the second half.

“No-one wanted the ball. In the end we are happy to take a point,” Xhaka said.

“We didn’t show our game in the second half, we were too scared.”

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Watford 2-2 Arsenal: Not a good point for Gunners – Emery

Watford’s first goal came as a result of Gunners defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos giving away possession inside his own area, allowing Cleverley to score.

Since the start of last season, Arsenal’s players have made a combined 14 errors leading to opposition goals in the Premier League – at least two more than any other club in this time.

The 31 shots Watford had against Unai Emery’s side were the most Arsenal have ever faced in a Premier League fixture since Opta began collecting such data in 2003-04.

Xhaka added: “Every team in the Premier League is strong enough to score but you have to keep calm, to show good character, to be mentally strong. We weren’t today.”

After winning their first two Premier League games of the season against Newcastle and Burnley, Arsenal are now without win in three following defeat at Liverpool and draws against Tottenham and now Watford.

“We have a lot of young players,” said Emery. They will really learn in the next matches.

“We will continue with our way of working. We need to improve, to take some information from this match. But also we’ll learn about that.”

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