EPL

Arsenal just need to 'dig out a win', says Ljungberg

By Sports Desk December 05, 2019

Freddie Ljungberg believes Arsenal just need to "dig out a win" for confidence after their poor run continued with a defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion.

Arsenal's winless run extended to nine games – their worst stretch since going 10 matches without a victory in 1977 – after suffering a 2-1 Premier League loss at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday.

But interim head coach Ljungberg feels one win could help turn Arsenal's season around, admitting his players looked "scared" during the first half against Brighton.

"That's the tough part. They looked very short on confidence, in the first half they were scared to get the ball, scared to move and were just standing still," he told a news conference.

"We need to talk about that but they need to, have to dig out a win and get some confidence because they can do it.

"They showed it in the second half, I think we did that really well for 20 minutes. It's hard to say that when you lose at home but they were very good in that spell."

After Alexandre Lacazette cancelled out Adam Webster's opener, Neal Maupay scored an 80th-minute winner for Brighton to leave Arsenal 10th in the table.

Ljungberg believes his team, who visit West Ham on Monday, are feeling the pressure amid their poor run of form.

"I think it's obvious that nervousness from the crowd can affect football players no matter what quality you have," he said.

"They're human beings like everyone else, they want to do well and they feel the pressure but that's something we need to work on.

"If we dig out a win, we can get there like I said. They showed that in the second half."

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    46th to 50th minute – Friday's encounter had to be paused for five minutes, as a section of Sporting fans threw smoke bombs onto the pitch and set fires in the stands. Fortunately, the stewards got them under control as quickly as possible.

    58th minute – Once the match had restarted, Benfica began targeting Fernandes once more, with Chiquinho receiving a booking for a late lunge which left Sporting's skipper needing treatment on his ankle.

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    67th minute – With a point to prove, Fernandes almost picked out Luiz Phellype with an incredible diagonal from far out on the right flank. Unfortunately for Sporting, Vlachodimos got there first.

    80th minute – Fernandes can only watch on as Sporting's defence fail to clear their lines not once, but twice, with Benfica substitute Rafa on hand to put the Primeira Liga leaders ahead, though the goal only stood after a long check with VAR.

    97th minute – In the seventh minute of 10 added on due to the earlier disruption, Fernandes is forced deep in an attempt to get Sporting on the front foot, but he is quickly crowded out, with his only option a pass out wide to Marcos Acuna.

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