Arteta admits Arsenal need to 'rebuild' after 'unacceptable' defeat to Brighton

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta lamented how his side threw a lead away against relegation threatened Brighton today at the Amex, labelling their 2-1 defeat ”unacceptable.”

The north London outfit went into the game looking to get back on track after a 3-0 defeat to Man City last Wednesday, and the Gunners started much the brighter of the two sides.

Impressive youngster Bukayo Saka crashing a fine effort off the crossbar from the edge of the area, before Alexandre Lacazette’s close range header forced Seagulls ‘keeper Matt Ryan into a decent stop.

Although the sides went in at the break level, there had still been a moment of heartbreak for Arsenal, with in form goalkeeper Bernd Leno stretchered off with what looked like a serious injury.

Summer signing Nicolas Pepe put Mikel Arteta’s side ahead with a moment of real quality on 68 minutes, the Ivory Coast international cutting in from the right and curling a beautiful strike into the top corner.

Brighton struck back on 75 minutes though when captain Lewis Dunk bundled home from close range after a well worked corner.

It seemed both sides would have to settle for a point as the game entered its dying stages. However, Seagulls striker Neal Maupay – who had been involved in Leno’s injury – popped up with a 95th minute winner, the Frenchman finishing well after a neat combination with fellow attacker Aaron Connolly.

Speaking afterwards Gunners boss Arteta admitted the defeat was a tough one to take and conceded he has a massive rebuilding job on his hands at the Emirates.

“A very difficult one to take. 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,” Arteta told BT Sport.

“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.

“I just worry about tomorrow and lifting the players and winning the next football game.”

Arsenal’s hopes of finishing in their spiritual home of fourth look all but over after today’s result, the Gunners now seven points behind fourth placed Chelsea in ninth.

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