Mikel Arteta apologized to fans after Crystal Palace defeated Arsenal to reduce the club’s chances of qualifying for Champions League

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Just when Arsenal’s fans thought their team has arrived and was on the verge of finishing in the top four, Mikel Arteta led the team to Crystal Palace to suffer a stunning 3-0 defeat.

In the Premier League game which took place at the Selhurst Park Stadium on Monday, April 4, 2022, Arsenal enjoyed the possession while Crystal Palace took full advantage of their limited chances.

For instance, in 90 minutes of football, Arsenal recorded 69 percent of the ball possession, and 647 passes, with 86 percent passing accuracy.

Mikel Arteta’s boys also did fairly upfront; they recorded 12 shots, three of which were on target but none made it into the net.

On the other hand, Crystal Palace only enjoyed 31 percent of the ball possession, and 293 passes with just 70 percent of pass accuracy.

Coach Patrick Vieira’s boys managed to make just 6 shots on target, five of which were on target. Three of the shots on target ended in the net.

Crystal Palace’s Jean-Philippe Mateta scored the opener in the 16th minute, Jordan Ayew made it 2-0 in the 24th minute and Wilfried Zaha scored via a penalty in the 74th minute to defeat Arsenal 3-0.

After the Premier League game, Mikel Arteta whose team enjoyed six victories in the club’s last seven Premier League games congratulated Crystal Palace for beating Arsenal fair and square.

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The Spanish tactician noted that his team was not consistent and did not play very well, especially in the first half of the game.

“Congratulations to Palace for the game they played but we made it impossible for ourselves with the way we competed”, Mikel Arteta told Sky Sports on Monday.

“You have to be physical and run and then you earn the right to play. We were inconsistent on the ball and that is unacceptable.

“We were poor, especially in the first half. I apologize to our supporters. We didn’t have the presence today or the composure to dominate the situation so that is what I’m most annoyed with. Some days you are not there and you are late all the time. They got on top of it and had a good atmosphere and we could not get out.

“When we had the big chances we didn’t score to give ourselves the best chance to get back in the game. First of all, we need to put our hands up and get the criticism we deserve. Then we accept it, look ourselves in the mirror and look to the next game. This was not good enough.

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“We have to face the challenge and the opportunity is in our hands. We have to be honest with ourselves and support each other.

“From the beginning, we were not at the races. When you come here you have to compete, you have to win duels and second balls and be aggressive and we were none of those and on top of that we were really poor on the ball.

“We tried in the second half, we had three or four big chances but the only half chance they had they got a penalty.

“It is time to accept the criticism, put your hand up and apologize because this performance was not good enough for this club, and then react. When everything goes well everyone wants to be there and be supportive.”

Crystal Palace used Mikel Arteta and his team to open up the top four race

Crystal Palace used Mikel Arteta and his team to open up the top four race
Crystal Palace players celebrate over Arsenal.

After Crystal Palace defeated Arsenal 3-0 on Monday, the victory only helped Palace to move to the 9th spot on the league table with 37 points in 30 games. But the victory over Arsenal has done a lot of good to the teams contending for a top-four finish.

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For instance, before now, Arsenal’s chance of making the top four was very wide because they had two games in hand. But now, after the defeat to Crystal Palace, they have just a game in hand.

Mikel Arteta and his boys are now occupying the 5th spot on the league table with 54 points in 39 games, on equal points with 4th placed Tottenham Hotspur.

Crystal Palace’s victory over Arsenal would lift the morale of 6th placed West Ham United and 7th placed Manchester United which are three points below Arsenal.

For Arsenal to return to being favorites to win a UEFA Champions League spot this season, they have to win their game in hand and avoid dropping points afterward. Two defeats in the club’s last 9 league games could end Mikel Arteta’s dream of helping Arsenal to finish in the top four.

Unfortunately for the Gunners, they still have games against tough opponents like Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, West Ham United, and even Southampton. If Arsenal could win against the aforementioned teams, then, the league’s top four would be theirs.

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