For 54 minutes it was tempting to wonder whether this low-key encounter, watched by a sparse attendance and trundling along nicely enough in Arsenal’s favour, might one day go down in history as the night a troubled head coach began clawing his way back from the brink. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal had left them looking as comfortable as this team ever can, and there was even the good news story of a quiet reintegration for Granit Xhaka, who had performed tidily enough. Then Daichi Kamada struck two bolts from the blue for Eintracht Frankfurt and it is impossible to escape the conclusion that, no matter what Unai Emery tries, his tenure is doomed to fail.

By now it feels like death by a thousand cuts for a club that, despite this defeat, will probably be playing Europa League knock-out football in the new year. The chances of Emery presiding over that look vanishingly slim now and, as the disappointments rack up, the pressure on Arsenal’s hierarchy to make a clean break in the coming days becomes ever greater.

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