Arsenal legend Martin Keown has slammed Dani Ceballos for his performance against Benfica while questioning the midfielder's role in the team.
Arsenal survived a scare as they came from a goal behind to secure a 3-2 victory, 4-3 on aggregate to advance to the last 16 of the Europa League. Ceballos cost the Gunners the first goal, committing a foul just outside the box and Benfica drew level from the resulting freekick.
In the second half, the Spaniard gave away possession easily to give Benfica the lead but Arsenal leveled the scores through Kieran Tierney before Piere-Emerick Aubameyang scored the winner.
"Ceballos, this late in the season, he’s a creative midfield player being asked to do his defensive duties and he’s been found wanting. And that’s got to improve," Keown said on BT Sport.
"A set of mistakes if you look at the tie overall, the penalty that was given away, the free-kick, and then Ceballos with that inconceivable header back to his own goal. And you’ve got to learn from this.
"Because you wonder, should Ceballos be the deep-lying midfielder there anyway? Because if they’ve got a corner and everyone has gone up, why is he even there? Because we’ve seen defensively it’s not his strong suit."
"He’s someone who’s creative, who can play with the ball. So that’s going to have to be looked at. Of course, he was taken off straight away. I was worried when Willian came on. Twenty-six appearances but only two shots on goal."
On Benfica's second goal
"Well you hope he can come back from it, but I would argue as to why he’s sitting there on the edge of the box."
"He’s dealing with the forward run and he’s got a pivotal role there and he’s looking around him and I think he can actually see the player running through but for some reason actually heads it back to his keeper."
The Gunners will now put their focus on the Premier League on Sunday when they face Leicester City.