Ex-Premier League star accuses Arsenal of effectively beating themselves for this reason

Danny Higginbotham says that Arsene Wenger's side throw games away by being too eager to win.

Former Premier League defender Danny Higginbotham has written in the Independent that Arsenal lose games because they panic if they do not score an early goal.

The Gunners are on the brink of elimination from the Champions League after Lionel Messi scored twice late on to hand Barcelona a 2-0 win at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night after Arsene Wenger's side had missed chances to take the lead earlier in the match.

Higginbotham says that the desperation to make a quick breakthrough in games in Arsenal's Achilles heel, and insists that it is something the club must change if they are to win the Premier League title.

He wrote in his Independent column: "On Tuesday night Arsenal effectively knocked themselves out of the Champions League, and not for the first time. This Arsenal team do not learn.

"They are an experienced side, not that you would not know it from how they play: naive, panicky and anxious, especially at home and also when they do not take an early lead. This is more likely than anything else to cost them the Premier League title this season.

"Unfortunately, this has been the story of Arsenal’s last three years in the Champions League. They keep knocking themselves out by losing the first leg at home, because they are too desperate for a lead. There is a glaring lack of game management and intelligence in this team, and a desperate rush to desperate measures when the game is still in the balance."

Higginbotham may have a point. Arsenal have been unassailable in the league this season at home when leading at half-time, winning all seven games, but have won just one out of six when they have headed into the break either level or behind.

Wenger's side are currently third in the Premier League table, two points off leaders Leicester City and behind North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur only on goal difference.

The Gunners are on the road this weekend as they renew a bitter old rivalry with Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

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