Mikel Arteta believes that his side deserved ‘much more’ than their 3-2 loss to Manchester United, but admitted that his side were ‘punished’ at Old Trafford.
After a relatively quiet opening, the visitors took the lead in particularly peculiar and controversial fashion, Emile Smith Rowe volleying in from just outside the box with David De Gea laying seemingly injured in the middle of the goal, albeit with the youngster seemingly unaware of the stricken Spaniard.
Following a lengthy VAR review, the goal was eventually given with no foul on the United stopper in the build-up, with De Gea having in fact been trodden on by his own teammate, Fred.
The Gunners then went close again through Gabriel Martinelli, although the hosts largely responded well to falling behind and did eventually pull a goal back just before half-time through Bruno Fernandes, the playmaker ending his recent goal drought with a coolly taken finish into the bottom corner after a well-worked team move.
A frantic start to the second-half saw De Gea expertly claw away a Gabriel Magalhaes header, while at the other end, in-form stopper Aaron Ramsdale did well to deny Cristiano Ronaldo’s drilled effort, following excellent work from the Portugal international.
The veteran striker – who had been a glaring omission from the starting lineup against Chelsea – then went one better just minutes later with a lovely sweeping finish from Marcus Rashford’s pull back, before Mikel Arteta’s men drew themselves level soon after in almost replica fashion through Martin Odegaard.
The Norwegian midfielder then went from hero to villain for his side as he clumsily brought down Fred inside the area, with that man Ronaldo stepping up to clinically convert from the penalty spot, his brace his 800th and 801st goals of a quite sensational career to date.
COOL. CALM. CRISTIANO.
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That set up a thrilling, end-to-end finale, with United eventually hanging on for a much-needed victory to end Michael Carrick’s brief tenure on a high, with just two points now separating the two sides.
Speaking after the game, Gunners boss Arteta was disappointed with the manner of some of the goals his side conceded, the Spaniard claiming they deserved ‘much more’.
“It is what it is. If you concede three goals at Old Trafford, you make it very difficult to get a result,” he told Amazon Prime Sport.
“I’m disappointed with the way we conceded some of the goals. We had some really good periods. We got back in the game. When we scored the second one, we were in total control, but we threw it [away] again. We needed another two goals to win it and we were incapable of doing it.
“If you look at the game, you would say we deserved much more than what we got. But you get punished. Against this level of opponent, you cannot do some of the things we did.”
Next up for Arsenal is another away trip to the North West when they take on a sorely out-of-form Everton at the weekend.