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HomePremier LeagueArteta: Always going to be a bump in Arsenal's title challenge

Arteta: Always going to be a bump in Arsenal’s title challenge

Mikel Arteta has said there was always going to be a bump in Arsenal’s title challenge this season, after his side’s 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa.

The Gunners missed the chance to move back to the top of the Premier League table after losing at home to Villa on Sunday, with late goals from Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins condemning Arsenal to a first league defeat of the calendar year.

 

Arsenal had been in fantastic form heading into the clash but Arteta said there was always likely to be ‘a bump’ in his side’s bid to win a first Premier League title since 2003/04.

“We all know that, the impact is now,” Arteta said to BBC Match of the Day when asked if his team now had to win every game in the run-in.

“How you react to that, there was always going to be a bump in the road. We won 10, drew one. Unbelievable, everybody is on board. Win, win, win win, win, win, win, win – everybody is happy. Very easy to maintain momentum and be on top of that. It is now after that defeat, how you show you character and your leadership and going to Munich, we have a beautiful opportunity to do that.”

Arteta believes his team should have won the game in the first half but conceded Arsenal were unable to maintain those levels across the full 90 minutes. He called for a reaction from the north Londoners ahead of a huge Champions League tie with Bayern Munich this week.

“We’re obviously very disappointed with the result, especially with the way we have been performing. The first half was one of the best halves we have played this season against a top team. We should’ve scored three, four, five, we haven’t scored. In the second half, the game changes, we struggle to gain momentum, we struggle to get the ball into certain areas and we were very sloppy with the ball and the game was there with not much happening. A few corners for them and then we concede a very poor goal and then, on top of that, we were chasing it and then we concede another one and it was a painful loss.

“I think we played much better than we did against Brighton in the first half. Much better. I think we should’ve scored three, four, five goals in the first half and that would’ve been a very different game. That’s not the case and we have to accept that and we have to praise the opponent, they beat us and we have to move. It is about reacting now.

 

“For sure, because we had the momentum and we were the better team on the pitch but you have to play for 96/98 minutes and we haven’t managed to maintain that level in the second half and that is down to us and we have to improve.

Read – Arteta bemoans ‘very poor goals’ Arsenal conceded in Villa defeat 

See more – Watkins wants Golden Boot after scoring in Arsenal win

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