Published On: Sun, Mar 4th, 2018

Ranking Arsenal's most heart-wrenching losses of the season

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It’s been another season to forget for an Arsenal squad whose only hope of lifting silverware this season lies in the Europa League – a competition the club was once proud to avoid during its 20-year spell competing in the Champions League.

Sunday’s loss to Brighton & Hove Albion was the latest shocking performance in a season that’s revived calls for sweeping change at the club.

Here’s how Arsenal’s 2-1 loss to the newly promoted outfit ranks among the most disappointing defeats in a campaign that’s on track to be one of the worst under manager Arsene Wenger:

7. Nottingham Forest 4-2, Jan. 7

Arsenal’s FA Cup title defence was over in the blink of an eye when the Premier League outfit bowed out of the competition in the third round just eight months after winning the competition for a record 13th time. Making matters worse, Arsenal’s hopes of repeating as champions ended with a decisive 4-2 defeat to Championship side Nottingham Forest, which finished the match with 10 men.

6. Stoke City 1-0, Aug. 19

The ecstasy of winning a thrilling Premier League curtain-raiser was followed by a humbling loss to Stoke City that foreshadowed the arduous season ahead. Fresh off beating Leicester City 4-3 to open the campaign, travelling Arsenal fans were left with that familiar feeling of disgust for the long journey back to London when Wenger’s men struggled mightily in front of goal en route to a 1-0 defeat.

5. Ostersunds 2-1, Feb. 22

There’s a healthy serving of negative adjectives that were used to sum up Arsenal’s performance during its second-leg loss to minnows Ostersunds in the Europa League’s round of 32. Although the victory was rendered irrelevant as Arsenal advanced to the next round on aggregate, it was hailed in Sweden as one of the biggest moments in the short history of the Allsvenskan club. British outlets, on the other hand, refused to look beyond the humiliation of a Premier League side – one which has grown accustomed to losing in European competition to giants such as Barcelona and Bayern Munich – falling to a team that was founded the same year Wenger was appointed Gunners manager.

4. Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1, March 4

Just when fans think things can’t get any worse, Arsenal loves to prove the doubters wrong. The Gunners did so again Sunday during an opening 40 minutes described as the worst football played under Wenger, as Brighton ran circles around Arsenal and jumped out to a 2-0 lead. The away side pulled one back before the break, but failed to find an equaliser before losing its fourth consecutive match in all competitions.

3. Manchester City 3-0, Feb 25

The League Cup final was a stark reminder of the disparity between Arsenal and Manchester City, arguably Europe’s top club. In what was likely the first of multiple trophies that Pep Guardiola’s side will lift this season, City cruised past a pitiful Arsenal team which tasted defeat in the competition’s final for a record sixth time.

2. Liverpool 4-0, Aug. 27

Arsenal’s hopes of bouncing back from its loss to Stoke the previous week were snuffed out by a relentless Liverpool team that steamrolled the north Londoners to three points. Adding insult to injury, the defeat occurred just days before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain switched allegiances by ditching the Emirates Stadium for Anfield.

1. Manchester United 3-1, Dec. 2

It wasn’t Arsenal’s worst performance in a losing effort, but December’s defeat at the hands of bitter rivals Manchester United was arguably the most infuriating result of the season – and it’s all thanks to David De Gea and the masterclass he displayed between the sticks. Despite the Gunners’ positive play throughout the encounter against a United team that was happy to concede the battle for possession, the Spanish ‘keeper produced a collection of saves that ultimately saw hope turn to despair among the home supporters and thwarted Arsenal’s chances of erasing an early 2-0 deficit, ultimately losing 3-1.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)

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