Previous
Crystal Palace
Liverpool
7:00 PM UTC
Game Details
Next

Man City impress at Arsenal; Pogba vs. Mourinho

Marcotti's Musings
Read

Arsenal's five most 'spineless' performances under Wenger in recent years

The verdicts on Arsenal's performance in Sunday's Carabao Cup final have been universally damning.

From Gary Neville calling the Gunners "spineless" and "a disgrace" on Sky Sports during the game to the barrage of outrage on social media, Arsenal have taken a verbal beating that's arguably been even worse than the 3-0 defeat inflicted on them by Manchester City.

But perhaps the most damning verdict of all is that it wasn't much of a surprise to see this Arsenal team deflate so completely in the second half at Wembley. Because it wasn't the first time that Arsene Wenger's men just completely failed to turn up for a big game. Here's a look at five other recent games where Arsenal showed a complete lack of fight when it mattered.

Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal, Aug. 27, 2017

Arsenal's first real test of the season turned into a total humiliation as they capitulated at Anfield. Coming off a stunning loss at Stoke, the Gunners badly needed to respond but they were simply overrun by a team that wanted it so much more than them.

Arsenal were lucky to get to half-time with just a 2-0 deficit, but never showed anything resembling a response after the break, instead allowing Liverpool to run up the score with ease. By the end, they simply looked like a group of players who didn't want to be there - which in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's case was certainly the case.

Crystal Palace 3-0 Arsenal, April 10, 2017

It's a rare sight to see Arsenal's travelling supporters openly turn on their own team, but this performance was so bad that chants of "you're not fit to wear the shirt" rang out around Selhurst Park. And it was hard to argue. Despite a top-four spot still being within reach, Arsenal produced one of the most listless performances in recent memory.

Once Palace went ahead early on, the Gunners looked completely dishevelled and rudderless, with no one stepping up to take control of the situation. And it only got worse as they conceded two more goals in a five-minute span in the second half. The fan abuse only got worse as well, continuing as the team boarded their bus outside the stadium after the game.

Bayern Munich 5-1 Arsenal, Feb. 15, 2017

In a two-legged tie, losing 2-1 away is hardly a disaster. So when Robert Lewandowski restored Bayern's lead in the 53rd minute, you'd have expected Arsenal to go into lockdown mode and make sure they went back to the Emirates with a fighting chance.

Instead, they simply folded. Two more goals were shipped in quick succession as Bayern picked apart Arsenal's panicking defence with glee, before Thomas Muller completed the humiliation late on. The fact that the collapse happened as soon as Laurent Koscielny went off injured only highlighted the lack of leadership among the players left on the pitch.

Arsenal fell apart against Bayern.

Manchester United 3-2 Arsenal, Feb. 28, 2016

The final scoreline may look respectable, but this performance was anything but. Arsenal entered the game as a serious title contender, having recently cut Leicester's lead to two points with a last-gasp winner against the Foxes at the Emirates. And they were playing an injury-plagued United side that was arguably the weakest Arsenal had faced in years at Old Trafford.

And yet the Gunners weren't at the races in the first half, lacking fight and conceding two quick goals to Premier League debutante Marcus Rashford. While Arsenal actually tried to respond this time, it was simply too late. What could have been a springboard towards the Premier League title became proof that this team just doesn't have what it takes.

Southampton 4-0 Arsenal, Dec. 26, 2015

Another game where Arsenal had a chance to underline their title credentials, as they were coming off an impressive home win over Man City and another victory at St. Mary's would have taken them top of the table.

Yet it was another game where they simply collapsed once things didn't go their way. Southampton took the lead through Cuco Martina's first-half strike, and Arsenal's interest in the match seemed to end after Shane Long doubled the lead in the 55th. Tired legs could have been a factor in the hectic holiday period, but Wenger was left to admit the simple truth that Southampton "wanted it more" than his Gunners.

Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.