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Arsenal: Pablo Mari’s defending against Romelu Lukaku was an ‘EMBARRASSMENT’, says Rio Ferdinand

Pablo Mari’s defending against Romelu Lukaku was an ‘EMBARRASSMENT’ and he ‘didn’t know what to do’, says Rio Ferdinand… as he jokes Arsenal’s defenders were like first years playing against a sixth former

  • Pablo Mari’s defending has been labelled an ’embarrassment’ by Rio Ferdinand 
  • The Arsenal man struggled as he came up against Romelu Lukaku on Sunday 
  • The Chelsea forward got the better of Mari for the opening goal in their 2-0 win
  • Ferdinand joked Arsenal’s defenders were like first years against a sixth former 

Rio Ferdinand has labelled Pablo Mari’s defending against Romelu Lukaku an ’embarrassment’ and said the Arsenal centre back ‘didn’t know what to do’ to stop the Belgian. 

The Gunners were beaten 2-0 by Chelsea on Sunday, with Lukaku getting the better of the Spaniard for the opening goal. 

Mari could not match Lukaku physically and the striker held off the 27-year-old before laying the ball off and sprinting into the box to get on the end of Reece James’ cross.  

The Arsenal defender lost the physical battle with the Chelsea forward

Rio Ferdinand has labelled Pablo Mari’s defending against Romelu Lukaku an ’embarrassment’

Lukaku got the better of the Arsenal centre back for the opening goal at the Emirates

Lukaku got the better of the Arsenal centre back for the opening goal at the Emirates

Ferdinand was critical of Arsenal’s defence as a whole but highlighted Mari’s poor attempts to compete with the Chelsea forward. 

‘He [Lukaku] bullies people, he was like a sixth former playing against first years,’ Ferdinand said on his FIVE Youtube channel.

 ‘That’s what he made the Arsenal centre-backs look like, they didn’t know how to deal with him.

‘[Pablo] Mari was an embarrassment, he didn’t know what to do.’

The former Manchester United defender also questioned how the Gunners’ defence had been set up and why they had not been better prepared for the battle with Lukaku. 

Arsenal defenders were like first years playing against a sixth former, according to Ferdinand

The former Manchester United man said Mari did not know what to do to stop Lukaku

Ferdinand joked that Arsenal defenders were like first years playing against a sixth former

‘The way they defended against him… where’s Per Mertesacker or someone like that who’s in the building? Please tell them what to do.

‘Before the game starts you tell them, “do not get into a physical battle with him, sometimes let him have a touch of the ball then you hit him, if you let him grip you he’s going to roll you and control the whole situation”.’   

While Ferdinand was critical of Mari, Jamie Carragher had some sympathy for the defender on Monday Night Football.

The former Liverpool man said Mari needed help dealing with Lukaku and critcised ‘naive’ Mikel Arteta for the way he set up his team.

He told Sky Sports: ‘Having a look at what they didn’t when you’re playing against Chelsea it’s how you deal with their system – a centre-forward and two numbers 10s and wing-backs like wingers. Arsenal – a back four against a back three was very naive. 

‘I came up against Lukaku and Dider Drogba and I felt sorry for Mari. To be left one versus one throughout that game, no matter who you are, you would get rolled. I needed help with Drogba, Mari needed help.

‘The best way to describe Arsenal is that they tried to play like Man City and Liverpool would do, but they don’t have the players.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk