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Karen Carney slams ‘criminal’ error by Arsenal’s Dani Ceballos for giving Benfica free-kick

Karen Carney slammed Arsenal midfielder Dani Ceballos for committing a ‘criminal error’ that gave Benfica an away goal in the Gunners’ crucial Europa League clash on Thursday. 

With Arsenal leading 1-0 in the first-half and 2-1 on aggregate, Ceballos brought down Julian Weigl on the edge of the box and Diogo Goncalves put the free-kick past Bernd Leno to level the tie on aggregate. 

The goal meant Mikel Arteta’s side faced a nervous second-half which would mean they need another two goals to progress to the last-16 should they concede again, with BT Sport pundit Carney criticising Ceballos’ concentration.

Karen Carney slammed Dani Ceballos for a criminal error in Benfica's first goal against Arsenal

Karen Carney slammed Dani Ceballos for a criminal error in Benfica's first goal against Arsenal

Karen Carney slammed Dani Ceballos for a criminal error in Benfica’s first goal against Arsenal

The midfielder (left) brought down Julian Wiegl to give Benfica a dangerous first-half free-kick

The midfielder (left) brought down Julian Wiegl to give Benfica a dangerous first-half free-kick

The midfielder (left) brought down Julian Wiegl to give Benfica a dangerous first-half free-kick

The pundit said at half-time: ‘It’s criminal to give this foul away centrally by dangling out the leg. 

‘You can’t dangle legs in those areas and it’s an unbelievable free-kick which the goalkeeper can’t do nothing about. 

‘That is a lack of concentration and it takes one moment and Benfica are back in the tie. The only team that will beat Arsenal is themselves and thats a mistake.’ 

Ceballos then made a disastrous error to allow Rafa Silva to round Bernd Leno and put Benfica in front in Athens. The Spaniard was soon hauled off by Arteta after his second error of the night.  

Diogo Goncalves scored Benfica's first goal of the night from the resulting free-kick

Diogo Goncalves scored Benfica's first goal of the night from the resulting free-kick

Diogo Goncalves scored Benfica’s first goal of the night from the resulting free-kick

Martin Keown also slammed Ceballos as he was 'found wanting' on Thursday night

Martin Keown also slammed Ceballos as he was 'found wanting' on Thursday night

Martin Keown also slammed Ceballos as he was ‘found wanting’ on Thursday night

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown also joined Carney in slamming the Spanish midfielder for his role in the goal.  

Keown added: ‘Ceballos – he’s a very creative midfielder and he’s a player asking to do defensive duties and he’s been found wanting.’ 

Arsenal, who were playing their ‘home leg’ in Olympiakos’ stadium in Athens due to coronavirus rules preventing any European travel in the UK, took the lead through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s early strike.

The Gunners captain was played through by Bukayo Saka’s clever flick and the Gabon forward clipped the ball over Benfica goalkeeper Helton Leite. 

Arsenal had put themselves in a strong position through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's goal

Arsenal had put themselves in a strong position through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's goal

Arsenal had put themselves in a strong position through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal

But Goncalves’ goal, the forward’s first for Benfica, hauled the Portuguese side level in a match which Arsenal cannot afford to lose.

The Gunners need to win the Europa League to improve their chances of playing European football next season. 

The north Londoners are 11th in the Premier League table and were dumped out of the FA Cup by Southampton last month. Winning the Europa League would see them qualify directly for the Champions League group stages.  

Source: Daily

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