Gary Neville blasts ‘terrible’ Arsenal defender for mistake in Tottenham derby

Man United legend Gary Neville wasn't impressed with Sokratis Papastathopoulos' mistake for Christian Eriksen's goal in Sunday's north London derby

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Gary Neville
Gary Neville (Photo: Sky Sports)

Gary Neville has criticised Sokratis Papastathopoulos for his error in the lead up to Christian Eriksen’s goal in Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

Arsenal dropped points for the second consecutive week in the Premier League to lose ground on leaders Liverpool FC and defending champions Manchester City.

Eriksen broke the deadlock when the Denmark international managed to get on the end of Bernd Leno’s save from Erik Lamela and roll the ball into the empty net.

However, Sokratis played a role in Eriksen’s opener when the Greece defender deserted his position to help Granit Xhaka compete for a long ball with Harry Kane.

The England striker’s resulting flick-on found Lamela to lead to the sequence of events that culminated in Eriksen’s opening goal for the Lilywhites.

Former Manchester United defender Neville was not impressed with Sokratis’ rash defending for the opening goal.

“I thought Sokratis on that first header was terrible,” Neville told Sky Sports. “If a centre-back goes in like that he at least has to make a challenge.

“Xhaka is going up for it and you just watch Sokratis, I mean, that is not the challenge of a centre-back. He has to be dominant, take everything that he can.

“Xhaka’s under it, and then just watch Sokratis there: you can’t do that. And then all of a sudden Kane quickens the attack up and the rest of them are scrambling.”

Arsenal have already conceded six times in four games in the Premier League this season to highlight their issues at the back.

The Gunners have earned seven points in the Premier League so far thanks to their victories over Newcastle United and Burnley.

Unai Emery’s side suffered their first Premier League defeat of the season in a 3-1 loss at Liverpool FC last month.

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