Ian Wright criticises Arsenal fans after painful Aston Villa defeat | Football

Ian Wright was ‘disappointed’ by the Arsenal fans who left early (Picture: Getty)

Ian Wright says he was ‘really disappointed’ that a substantial number of Arsenal fans left the Emirates Stadium early during Sunday’s defeat to Aston Villa.

Thousands of supports could be seen pouring out of the Emirates after Ollie Watkins doubled Villa’s lead in the 87th minute.

The entertaining Premier League fixture was goalless with ten minutes remaining but Leon Bailey broke the deadlock before Watkins sparked more wild celebrations in the away end.

Arsenal knew victory over Aston Villa would have taken them back to the top of the table, one point ahead of Manchester City and three of Liverpool who suffered a shock defeat to Crystal Palace earlier in the day.

But instead Mikel Arteta’s side suffered their fifth league defeat of the season to stay two points behind Man City, who are going for a record fourth successive Premier League title.

Defeats have been rare for Arsenal over the past two seasons and this particularly setback may have hurt more given it was masterminded by former Gunners boss Unai Emery.

But club legend Wright was still ‘disappointed’ to see so many fans leave the stadium before the game had finished.

Aston Villa clinched a 2-0 win at the Emirates Stadium

Aston Villa clinched a 2-0 win at the Emirates Stadium (Picture: Getty)

‘You know something, I’ve got to say something about the fans,’ he said on the Kelly and Wrighty Show.

‘When we look back at that great Manchester United team, the one thing they had was ‘Fergie Time’, the fans genuinely got behind them and got them through it.

‘When you look at the amount of Arsenal fans that left… that can be very demoralising.

‘For the last two seasons it’s only been progression for this team. They didn’t lose against Bayern, remember what Bayern did to us before? They came back in that game this time.

‘These players need the fans to stay with it. So for them to leave like they did… It was really sad to see. Because then you’re thinking they genuinely believe that that’s it. I was really disappointed to see that.’

Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice admitted he was ‘gutted and disappointed’ by the Gunners’ potentially costly defeat to Aston Villa.

The England star has challenged his team-mates to respond when they return to action in the Champions League against Bayern Munich.

Arteta’s side travel to Munich on Wednesday night looking to progress to the semi-finals. The first leg at the Emirates finished 2-2.

‘It’s the perfect game for a reaction,’ said Rice. ‘We need a reaction on Wednesday night and it is a great chance to show our character and leadership.

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‘It’s time to go out there and hopefully get into the semi-finals of the Champions League. We have to park this to the side now. It’s gone. It’s a game of football – we’ve lost but we need to bounce back, that’s for sure.

‘Going to the Allianz Arena is going to be a special night. It’s time to pull our socks up and show everyone why we’re in this position.

‘We’re gutted and disappointed we’ve lost a massive game but it’s time for a reaction.

‘We’ve been on such an amazing run since January, won so many football matches and got ourselves back into an unbelievable position after being written off at Christmas.’

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