Soccer

Daichi Kamada scores twice to sink woeful Arsenal in Europa League

AP, AFP-JIJI, Kyodo

Daichi Kamada scored twice in the second half as Eintracht Frankfurt came from a goal down and stunned Arsenal 2-1 in the Europa League on Thursday.

The loss at Emirates Stadium extended Arsenal’s winless streak to seven games across all competitions — its worst run since 1992 — increasing the pressure on coach Unai Emery after a series of disappointing results.

Emery shrugged off multiple questions regarding his position during the postmatch news conference.

“Now our moment is not good. We need to win, take confidence and I think we are better than we are showing. The players, the coaches and myself,” 48-year-old Emery said.

“I am thinking about the next match (against Norwich on Sunday) and how we can improve.

“My work and my job is firstly analyzing that match, how we are in the Europa League, in our feelings and how we are going to play on Sunday.”

Kamada leveled the score 10 minutes into the second half with a low shot inside the far post as Frankfurt was pushing for an equalizer. After Arsenal failed to clear a corner nine minutes later, he found the back of the net from the edge of the area.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave Arsenal the lead in the first-half stoppage time after Gabriel Martinelli sent a low cross for the striker to score with a shot that was deflected against the crossbar before going in.

But Kamada added his second in the 64th minute with a drive from outside the box to inflict Arsenal’s first home defeat of the campaign.

“Arsenal are a big club, so it was nice timing to score against them,” said Kamada, who joined Frankfurt on loan from Belgian side Sint-Truiden in the offseason.

“I’d never gone this long without scoring as a professional. These are goals I won’t forget.”

Boos from the lowest attendance at Emirates since it opened in 2006 greeted Emery and his misfiring team at the final whistle while some disgruntled fans held up banners demanding “Emery Out.”

The game was played in front of an empty away end after UEFA banned Frankfurt fans from attending the match for bad behavior earlier in the competition.

The Gunners, who still lead Group F by one point, are still on course for a last-32 place if they draw with Standard Liege on Dec. 12. The Belgian side drew 1-1 with Vitoria, which has already lost its chance to progress to the knockout stages with just two points to show from five games.

Youthful United falls short

United defender Di’Shon Bernard, one of three teenagers who made their senior debut for the English team, deflected a shot by Antonio Rukavina into his own net in the 62nd for what proved to be the winning goal in Nur-Sultan.

Manchester United had already qualified for the next round and could afford to field a youthful team against Astana, which came from behind to win 2-1.

It was the first loss of the Europa League campaign for United, which leads Group L with 10 points. Astana is last despite earning its first three points on Thursday.

Jesse Lingard marked his first game as United captain with a low shot from outside the area for his first goal of the season 10 minutes into the game, which was played on an artificial surface.

Dmitri Shomko equalized for Astana in the 55th, the first goal United had conceded in the campaign, just seconds after another teenager, Tahith Chong, failed to hit an open net from close range at the other end.

Ethan Laird and Dylan Levitt also made their first start in a United team that had an average age of 21.6 years, including 36-year-old goalkeeper Lee Grant.

Elsewhere, newcomer Wolverhampton Wanderers and Braga both progressed with a game in hand after the two sides drew 3-3.

Wolfsburg, Gent, Alkmaar, Sporting, LASK and APOEL also all secured a spot in the next round.