Mikel Arteta admits he had mixed emotions after seeing Arsenal slip to a late 2-1 defeat to Chelsea at the Emirates on Sunday.
Arteta was taking charge of his first home game since being appointed as the club’s new head coach earlier this month and saw his side impress during the opening exchanges of an entertaining London derby, taking the lead through captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s 12th Premier League goal of the season.
Despite dominating the first period Arsenal struggled to make their dominance count, however, leading by just a single goal at the interval and following a tactical alteration from Chelsea manager Frank Lampard saw the visitors slowly grow into the contest.
Chelsea would secure a stunning late fightback with two goals in the final seven minutes from Jorginho and Tammy Abraham, Arteta admitting he was both ‘pleased’ and ‘disappointed’ following a promising performance which ultimately proved futile.
‘I’m really disappointed with the result and the way we conceded the goals, and the timing of them as well,” Arteta told his post-match press conference.
‘I’m pleased with a lot of things that I’ve seen. I’m pleased with a lot of things we worked on in training that actually happened in the game, and how they bought into this.
‘But I’m disappointed to lose the game obviously. We had to sustain that level for longer periods against a very, very physical team like Chelsea. We have to move on.’
Chelsea’s equaliser came courtesy of a goalkeeping blunder from Bernd Leno, the German flapping at Mason Mount’s delivery to allow Jorginho to tap home at the back post.
Arteta says the 27-year-old is likely to be ‘down’ following his costly error, and says the squad will have to lift Leno in the coming days as Arsenal look to bounce back against Manchester United on New Years Day.
‘He will be down. When an error costs the team points, it’s harder. We have to lift him,” the Gunners coach added.
‘He’s done a really good job since he joined this football club and we have to respect that. We just need to bring the confidence back in and that’s it.’