Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said he was frustrated after his team was defeated by Brighton for the second time in 6 months. The defeat has also compounded the woes of the Gunners as it is their second defeat in a week.
Recall that Mikel Arteta‘s boys fell heavily in the hands of Pep Guardiola led Manchester City on Wednesday. Three days later, they paid a visit to Brighton’s Amex Stadium and they were beaten again. Unlike Manchester City that spanked them 3-0, Brighton dragged the match until the final seconds before Neal Maupay sealed a 2-1 win for the host.
The Saturday’s scoreline was a repetition of what happened in December when Brighton visited the Emirate Stadium. The relegation-threatened team silent Arsenal‘s fans at the stadium with unbelievable 1-2 spanking.
As it stands now, Brighton‘s win on Saturday has left Arsenal as temporal occupants of the 10th spot with just 40 points in 30 games; while Burnley is closely behind them with 39 points in 29 games. Arsenal‘s next game is against 13th placed Southampton that currently has 37 points after defeating Norwich City 0-3 on Friday.
Hence, it was not surprising when Mikel Arteta told BBC that the loss they suffered in the hands of Brighton was unacceptable. He said his players ought to have buried the game earlier before Brighton could think of a comeback.
“I am very frustrated”, he said. “It is unacceptable the way we lost the game. We like competing and I know we have a young squad but still, we threw the game away. We had to put it to bed earlier.”
Mikel Arteta also admitted to BT Sport that the defeat was a “very difficult one to take”, arguing that the players had enough opportunities to win the match but threw all the chances away.
“It is unacceptable in the way we lost the game. The fact we missed so many chances, the fact we gave them a goal and we did not compete for the second goal,” he said.
“Where do Arsenal go from here? We have to try to lift the players. There’s a lot of things they have done really well but we don’t compete. At this level, you cannot give those sort of goals away.
“This is the challenge we all have at the football club, to rebuild to something that is worth the club we are representing.”
Mikel Arteta now has one of the biggest jobs in his hands. He and his team are almost in the middle of either falling into the relegation zone or lifting themselves into a European competition spot.
Currently, Arsenal is 13 points away from 18th placed Bournemouth while the club is 8th point away from 4th placed Chelsea which still has a match in hand.
For Arsenal to keep their hopes of making it to Europe next season, they have to win at least 7 out of their remaining 8 matches especially their date with 8th placed Tottenham Hotspur, 6th placed Wolves United, 7th placed Sheffield United and 3rd placed Leicester City. Besides these matches, Arsenal still has a date with the table-toppers Liverpool football club.