Ian Wright criticises Arsenal star for ‘switching off’ during Aston Villa defeat | Football

Aston Villa stunned Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium (Picture: Getty)

Ian Wright accused one Arsenal star of ‘switching off’ during the deflating 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa.

Arsenal’s Premier League titles hopes were dealt a major blow on Sunday as Unai Emery came back to the Emirates Stadium to haunt the Gunners.

Emery’s Villa proved tricky opponents for the title challengers and scored two late goals through Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins to stun the Emirates into silence.

Arsenal were hoping to capitalise on Liverpool’s shock defeat to Crystal Palace earlier in the day but slipped up themselves in a huge boost to defending champions Manchester City.

With six games remaining, Pep Guardiola’s side find themselves two points above Arsenal and Liverpool, who are only separated on goal difference.

Analysing Arsenal’s defeat to Villa for Premier League Productions, Gunners legend Wright criticised Gabriel Martinelli for ‘switching off’ in the build-up to the opening goal.

The Brazilian winger came on as a second-half substitute for Leandro Trossard but allowed Bailey to roam free at the back post before tucking home an inviting cross from Lucas Digne.

Mikel Arteta's side dropped crucial points in the title race

Mikel Arteta’s side dropped crucial points in the title race (Picture: Getty)

‘Look at Martinelli, this is what we’ve been saying because Arsenal have been so good defensively this season,’ Wright said.

‘Everyone has been switched on but in this instance he switches off. Bailey is his man, that’s his man in this situation. He has to get closer to him, it’s as simple as that.

‘Arsenal gave Villa too many opportunities late on and they took them. Martinelli switches off at the back post. He realised too late. That’s the difference.

‘The margins are so small and the same thing happened against Bayern, a couple of lapses in concentration and they were punished.’

Writing on X, Wright added: ‘Villa the braver team. Great performance. Loads of injuries, midweek games, better than us in everything. Unrecognisable Arsenal in that second half.’

The fixtures do not come any easier for Arsenal as they prepare to travel to Munich this week to face Bayern in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

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