Mikel Arteta refutes claims pressure of top-four race got to Arsenal at Palace


Mikel Arteta defended his Arsenal players and refuted claims that pressure from the front four had gotten to them after Monday’s 3-0 defeat at crystal palace but acknowledged that this was an “unacceptable” result.

The Gunners were blown away by their former captain patrick vierawho saw his side lead two goals in 24 minutes through Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jordan Ayew before Wilfried Zaha’s late penalty added a deserved touch.

A 5-1 win for Tottenham Newcastle On Sunday they overtook rivals Arsenal in the race to qualify for the Champions League, but Arteta hit back at suggestions his young side were feeling the heat after a trying night.

“Overall this is unacceptable, we raise our hands, me first and I apologize, we regroup, tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity to start preparing against Brighton,” the Gunners boss said. .

“No, because the pressure has been there for seven or eight weeks and we talk all the time about the race and the top four and that’s when they performed extremely well, got results and played well.

“Today we didn’t play and it’s as simple as that. We were second in every department, especially in the first half.

Arsenal had won six of their previous seven matches before traveling to Palace but looked unsteady from the start and it was no surprise when Mateta nodded in a 16th-minute opener after Joachim Andersen’s header in order to.

It was 2-0 eight minutes later when Ayew collected Andersen’s pass and deflected his shot around Aaron Ramsdale and into the bottom corner. Selhurst Park were rocking now, but Arteta was reportedly appalled again by the defense of Gabriel Magalhaes and Nuno Tavares.

The second half was better for the visitors, but Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard squandered some fine openings before Zaha’s excellent run won a kick, which he converted to make it 3- 0.

“No, we still have a game on the way,” Arteta replied when asked if Spurs’ fourth-place finish had been a psychological blow to his side.

“We know that in the nine games a lot of things are going to happen. We have to play against each other, we have to play big games ahead and we have to focus on ourselves. The problem we had today wasn’t Spurs, it was us and what we did in the first half.”

To compound a bad night for the Gunners, Thomas Partey limped off in what Arteta described as a “big concern” while Kieran Tierney is scheduled for a scan on Tuesday which will determine the extent of a worrying knee injury.

On Tierney, Arteta said: “He’s seeing the specialist tomorrow and we’ll know more about the extent of the injury, but the feeling he had wasn’t really positive and neither was what the scan showed. We we have to wait and see what happens.

Palace’s victory lifted them to ninth place and extended their unbeaten run to seven matches before they travel to Wembley in a fortnight for an FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea.

Eagles manager Vieira said: “It was a really good performance. I think from the first minute we wanted to put the pressure on them and not give them time on the ball. We got it good. made.

“I think there’s more trust in the team, the players understand each other better and are starting to really get to know each other too.

“There is a clear idea of ​​how we want to play and today we scored these goals at really important moments in the game. I also think the way we handled the game showed that we are growing in team.

Vieira spent nine years as a player at Arsenal and won three Premier League titles at Highbury.

Asked if he felt sorry for damaging his former club’s Champions League return hopes, he replied: “No, our main objective was to win the game.”

Mikel Arteta refutes claims pressure of top-four race got to Arsenal at Palace

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Olivia Wilson
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