Arsenal’s loss of ‘mentality and structure’ was to blame for their 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace on Saturday, according to defender Sokratis.
Mikel Arteta’s side missed the chance to close the gap on the Premier League‘s top four following an entertaining London derby clash at Selhurst Park, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s opener being cancelled out by a deflected effort from Palace’s Jordan Ayew.
The Gunners played the final stages of the contest with 10 men following goalscorer Aubameyang’s red card for a lunge on Max Meyer, VAR overturning the initial yellow card awarded by referee Paul Tierney.
Despite starting brightly it was further dropped points for the north London side who have won just one of their previous six Premier League fixtures, and Sokratis admits a failure to follow their manager’s instructions was to blame for their failure to secure three points.
🟡 ➡️ 🔴
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is sent off!
He was originally shown a yellow card for his challenge on Max Meyer, but had it raised to a red after a VAR check! pic.twitter.com/1eV91CF32Y
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 11, 2020
‘If we watch the game again, we are disappointed because we played much better than them and had the chances to win the game. The first 35 minutes we played very good and did what our manager asked,’ Sokratis told BT Sport.
‘In the next 10 minutes and first 10 minutes of the second half, we lost the mentality and structure.’
The decision to dismiss Aubameyang prompted an angry reaction from the Arsenal players who surrounded referee Tierney, though Sokratis admits the scenes were not in protest against the use of VAR.
‘VAR is there to help the referee. I didn’t show a good reaction but we are disappointed because we haven’t had a lot of luck. It wasn’t against VAR or anything.’