Friday, May 20, 2022

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal players deserved to get ‘slapped’ after top-four hopes hit with defeat to Brighton

MIKEL ARTETA has admitted his Arsenal team deserved to get “slapped” by Brighton.

The Gunners recorded back-to-back defeats thanks to goals by Leandro Trossard and Enock Mwepu.

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Arteta says his team deserved to get ‘slapped’ by BrightonCredit: REX FEATURES
Arsenal's top-four hopes were dented for the second game in a row

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Arsenal’s top-four hopes were dented for the second game in a rowCredit: REX FEATURES
Brighton ended their rotten run of form

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Brighton ended their rotten run of formCredit: REX FEATURES

Summer signing Martin Odegaard pulled a goal back for Arsenal late on but it was too little too late by then.

The loss is a massive dent to Arsenal’s top-four ambitions with North London rivals Tottenham three points ahead after seeing off Aston Villa.

Top-four rivals West Ham are just three points behind the Gunners and are due to face Brentford at 2PM on Sunday.

Boss Arteta has conceded that Saturday’s loss was deserved.

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He said: “What happens now is we criticise ourselves a lot, get slapped again because we deserve it.

“We were really poor again the first half and we need to lift ourselves up because we know that this road is taking us nowhere – especially where we want to be.

“We have everything to play for in the last eight games.”

The Spaniard also blasted his team for lacking “courage” against the mid-table side.

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He continued: “The first half was really poor again. The reaction that we wanted to show and everything that we talked about we didn’t make it happen on the pitch.

“We were sloppy with the ball, we were second best again. We didn’t show any purpose or build any momentum in the game or play with speed or transform the game that Brighton proposed today.

“It was not a problem of attitude, for me it was a problem of the approach and the courage that we showed and we didn’t have that purpose.

“I know that we didn’t have that intention to attack and step in and provoke the situation we want to provoke and we were looking at each other too many times instead of taking ownership and doing what we have to do.

“You cannot play like that. You have to make yourself count and step in and today we didn’t do it.”

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