Arsenal boss Unai Emery felt Nicolas Pepe’s first-half miss proved decisive in his side’s 1-0 defeat at Sheffield United.
Pepe, a £72million summer signing from Lille, contrived to fire off target when placed in front of goal from Sead Kolasinac’s pin-point cross with the score at 0-0.
The Blades took full advantage, with Lys Mousset turning the ball home in the 30th minute following a corner for what proved to be the winning goal.
“That was the key I think because if that (Pepe’s chance) goes in – they are the team in the Premier League who have conceded least goals with Liverpool, seven only,” said Emery.
“And if they score the first goal then defensively they are very strong and they defended very well in the second half.
“It’s not easy to create the chances, but I think we controlled the ball more in the (better) positions.
“I think we deserved more. I don’t think we deserved to lose the match, but I appreciate (Sheffield United’s) work and I appreciate they are here with their supporters.”