Mikel Arteta admits his side “crashed” after half time as Liverpool put Arsenal to the sword with a 4-0 win that ended his side’s eight-game Premier League unbeaten run.
After the game, the Spaniard, who was booked in the first half for a touchline showdown with opposite number Jurgen Klopp, faced the Sky Sports cameras.
Here’s what he had to say…
On the result…
I think the first half was a very competitive half, we were in the game, they had moments, we had moments. We had a goal disallowed and we competed well. We conceded on set play and one-nil down we got to half time. That’s the moment we had to be patient and to start to build the game in our favour. We did completely the opposite. The first 15 to 20 minutes, we just crashed. We started to give the ball away in the first 25 metres of our build-up against the best team in the world in short counters. That’s where we lost the game. The rest is just a consequence of frustration, having to chase the game and leaving open spaces, lose all the compactness that we had in the first half. When you have to defend open spaces with them, you know that they are going to punish you.
On the start of the second half…
They can press and they are one of the best teams doing it but we got sloppy and when we had total control of the ball, we gave it away. It is what it is, mistakes are part of football.
On whether his players should have defended the first goal better…
Yes, I think so. It’s their quality as well, that’s why they’ve been the best team in Europe because they dominate every aspect of the game. Today they were better than us, we have to accept that, congratulate them, learn and focus on the next game.
On what prompted the bust-up with Klopp…
Nothing, I think he was defending his team, I was defending my team.
On what made him angry in the first place…
It doesn’t matter.
On whether he’s spoken to Klopp since…
Yes, I congratulate him for the game. For me, these incidents stay there [in the game], they are part of the heat and the way we like to compete.
On whether the incident hurt Arsenal because it galvanised Liverpool’s fans…
I don’t know. I think the atmosphere was extraordinary from the beginning. This crowd doesn’t need much so I don’t think it made a difference.
On the defeat shows how much his young team still has to learn…
It was a huge test and we showed for 45 minutes that we can compete with them, even though they had moments when they were better than us. We crashed in 15/20 minutes, we just threw the game away completely and that’s the learning part today. Then you’re completely exposed.
On being encouraged by the unbeaten run…
Yeah, we take the things we have to learn from today. This league is a marathon, it’s not going to be decided today. We have to carry on and it’s about how we react now as a team.
No shame in that defeat. They’re a great team. It will be different next season. The lads will be alright.
I dont know if I agree with that — its not as if we lost showing a bit of guts. We took and absolute hiding and it was largely down to our own doing (again). Appreciate Liverpool are a top side, but come on, there is no need to get fucking rinsed like that. Once it went 2 nil it should’ve been a shut up shop kind of gig. The gulf in class was too big for us to think we were ever going to be able to furnish chances to get back in the game. It was time for… Read more »
Was wondering if he’d put in Tierney but think he left Tavares on in order not to destroy his confidence. Easier to pull a midfielder without it seeming damning of the player.
I wouldn’t have taken him off, I would’ve put Tierney on as well and gone with the back 5. He needed protecting and I think if you did a straight swap for Tierney it wouldn’t have made too much difference, especially when central midfield were not showing for the ball at all. I am willing to write it off to him most likely not being fully fit, but Partey was really poor today. He did not want the ball at all, he basically left it to Lokonga to pick it up off the centre backs basically every single time we… Read more »
In hindsight, I guess Arteta could have subbed Partey with AMN at half time.
Amn was shite when he came on.
I don’t think that would have helped – we needed more bodies in there, not the same number with different personnel
Maitland niles was shocking when he came on. Epitomised by taveres all into him and he’s total lack of awareness letting the ball go straight to Liverpool player
I think Party is a Defensive midfielder after all (CM at best).
To retain posession, to create chances are much more about the players ahead of him in the field.
We conceded 5 against City and 4 today – still our defensive record (goad against) is still acceptable. However the number of goals we are scoring is the 14th in the league…
Give the lads a break. Getting beat is part of growing. Relax
The lads a break? I don’t think its unfair of me to expect them to try and not get pumped 4 nil away at Anfield every single time we go up there? We have conceded 22 goals in the last 6 games against Liverpool away from home. The buck has to stop somewhere? Or shall we keep being okay with getting our pants pulled down. I am not expecting us to turn up and win, far from it, I am just asking us to try a bit harder to not take an absolute hiding, most teams successfully manage to do… Read more »
Have said this before but its worth repeating: these young players shouldnt have to bear the scars from past failures. Yea its tough as a fan to see your team lose again and again—but just remember that. This is the hardest match Lokonga, Tomi, and Tavares have ever faced. They are all young as hell; normally with players new to the league we give benefit of the doubt for years (see pepe). These kids deserve the chance to
Thus was the 8th game this season where Liverpool have won by 3 goals or more – it’s not just us!
I kind of get what you’re saying, but it’s difficult to offer a “lack of guts” diagnosis and “failure to shut shop” diagnosis in the same comment.
Interesting that you say that, because at 2-0 down I think it would be awful if we closed up shop and just defended. That’s asking for trouble and I would argue that it’s tantamount to admitting defeat when there are still 30-40 minutes to play. Even if we know there’s a proverbial gulf in quality, with a giant mountain to climb to get anything out of the game, I’d rather we tried to get back into the contest than try and limit the amount we lose by. I get that it sucked, believe me I know. But we disagree on… Read more »
This mindset can only be altered from a statement performance. Its deemed acceptable that we bend over and take the reason that Liverpool/ City/ Chelsea ( who were in the same position as us at one point last season)…. are a better team.
We need to alter this mindset and that only comes from the Team. We need a statement result / performance against one of them.
I’m sceptical of whether we’re making progress or just flattering to deceive but I don’t really believe in ‘statement’ performances. One off performances mean nothing as evidenced by lesser teams beating the top 3. Consistency and a return to Europe should be the immediate goal. I don’t think much is to be gained reading into individual performances good or bad.
this is all we as fans have been asking if you’re going to lose do it fighting and give it your all…id rather lose like this than lose like we did against Chelsea and Man city earlier in the season. Lets learn from this quickly and move forward..We need to be more aggressive and ruthless defending and going forward. Our attack is one of the worst in the top 8 we need to improve this AUBA needs to improve or be sold I think he’s too old to improve so I prefer we sell January summer I wish we could… Read more »
This whole attacking thing has got to improve.
Fair comment. We had a good run but it may be a good chance for Arteta to tinker the attack. Perhaps next week against the Toon play Odegaard instead of Sambi for a bit more attacking intent in the middle.
Shouldn’t be too disheartened by that. Anfield away was never gonna be easy and we played well until the tavares pass and then it crumbled away a bit. Tavares and Lokonga will learn a lot from today. Good chance to bounce back at home to Newcastle next sat and thanks to Watford and wolves we’re still 5th, so we’ve got away with it.
Call it hindsight or whatever but liverpool as good as they are with 3 in the middle against our two in there was always going to be a tough task. The front 3 were never going to be in the game so why not sacrifice one of Saka/ESR for an Elneny/AMN in there to shore up and also help win it and play on the break?
Elneny/AMN starting instead of Saka/ESR wouldn’t have made any difference to the result, we still would have lost.
Granted but maybe not that easily. And this isn’t any criticism of Arteta or the front 3 but we aren’t on liverpool’s level yet so stopping them playing with an option for a counter is better than letting them play without a way out
True we are nowhere near them but I admire Arteta sticking to the formation which took us up to 5th in the league.
Personally I would have been absolutely outraged if Saka or ESR started on the bench!
When the team was announced people on this site were proclaiming it to be our best XI – I was getting behind the sofa but hoping they could surprise me.
That’s a fair response from Arteta, I quite liked that aggression towards the Mane ‘foul’ nice to see some passion from the manager.
Completely agree with how he saw the game and where we were outplayed as well. But is there something he could have done in those 20 minutes at start of second half – I thought Tierney for Tavares was an obvious one.
Also disappointed with our attacking play, I don’t think Laca and Auba combination is the solution for our goal scoring problems, don’t know what the alternatives are – Pepe is frustrating, Martenelli has regressed a bit and Odegaard has to step up in the physical challenges.
Honestly, I think Tierney should have started, I like Tavares but he’s too attack minded for this sort of game, he was always going to be found out unfortunately.
I said to my Liverpool supporting mate at ht that when laca gets knackered we should bring on KT, shift esr central and play Tavares at left wing.
Hmm I thought Tavares was actually very strong against Salah, alongside Gabriel. The error that led to the Jota goal was more from Tavares trying to play forward, with no options seeming to present themselves, than his defensive work. He did make a few errant passes throughout the game, but so did White, ESR, Auba, Sambi, … then the last 2 goals were just them exploiting our entire high line. I think the performance was a team issue (us not being efficient enough in every way and them being too much so) and don’t think it any single player is… Read more »
Yeah with hindsight he did manage Salah well, that’s a positive take away from this. Guess what I meant was that Tavares is such a positive player that he’ll naturally look to play forward (which is great) but with Liverpool’s pressing strength the options would always be limited and most likely end up with a dodgy pass or two.
Spot on from Mikel. We were in it until the inexperience of Sambi and particularly Tavares showed. But it’s how it goes. We had it when Wenger used to field young teams too.
All the players played with bravery. Tried to out play the press and pass forward. All have shown potential this season so hopefully in a couple years they will be world class. Onwards and upwards!
Doesn’t matter much, but I don’t buy for a second the Sky narrative of “Arteta fires up Anfield” that is now being mindlessly parroted everywhere, as if Liverpool would have ho-hummed along otherwise.
Just as much sends a signal to a young player/team that their manager has their backs when TT takes an arm across the face and it isn’t called.
Fair and well-rounded comments. I am particularly pleased that he did not inflame the situation with Klopp. He took the defeat on the chin and tipped his hat to a superior opponent, which will not have been easy but it sets a good example to the players. This one stung but it is important to keep perspective and move on from bad moments
Without Europe, I would like to see Arsenal take advantage of that. Europa League place is the very minimum expectation this season, but we should be challenging 4th place, no doubt. Such a shame today, I didn’t expect to win personally, but I was hoping the manner of a loss would be something tangible to hold on to. Unfortunately this scoreline is a sore reminder of where we are. We are long overdue a statement result. Something to really light the fuse on this team, trigger a belief. I think this will come. All anyone can do now is swallow… Read more »
Beating the sp*ds and Leicester were our statement results.
Not worried at all. Today was an educational experience, we’ll learn from it, and move on.
We have a really decent young squad forming, 5th in the league, and we have Newcastle at home next Saturday. We’re in a very good position going into the Xmas period.
Nice one man.
It was disgusting that Liverpool being a stronger team comes off with a ‘kick tem off the tuff’ tactic. Arteta lately said we are probably usually are the naive side, so Klopp knew exactly what was going on. Nice that they firstly resorted to that.
Just gonna put this here…
Apart from Brentford, we have lost to exactly who we are expected to lose to. We are 5th, no one can play Sunday and overtake us.
We played well for 40 mins. Better than a lot of performances at Anfield over the last 9 years.
It doesn’t matter now as a game. Just go again.
So, we shake up ourselves from the dust and live to fight another day. COYG!!!
Midfield collapsed after HT
Didn’t think it was a good idea to play Sambi and Partey together. Maybe Partey + ESR or Saka
Lads will learn and come back stronger
Liverpool pressed the sh1t out of us
“We had a goal disallowed” – lol, why mention a goal that was 5 yards offside? Talk about trying to polish a turd.
They fucking melted, teams like Brighton can go there without fear but we fall apart. Slow boring robotic tactics, bloody hell lucky to beat Norwich and Watford, lucky point agains Palace. Process my arse. No way that team thought they could get anything today and neither did the manager.
Average Twitter troll, is that you?
We’re still looking better than United, sp*ds, and Leicester.
Too true. Highlight today was Maguire dropping Gollum right in the poo.
The 10 game unbeaten run has papered over cracks. We played 4 of the bottom 5, two managers that were subsequently sacked and to home games in the Pointless Cup. There is still no style of play, performances are generally awful, and nearly all of the forwards are going backwards in their careers.
The angriest man… on Twitter. “Aaaaaggggh, everything is shiiiit.”
July 2020, a young rookie manager and ex-player of a London football club gets into an argument with Jurgen Klopp at Anfield. That rookie is sacked a few months later.
December 2020, a washed-up manager of a London football club gets into an argument with Jurgen Klopp at Anfield. The washed-up manager is sacked a few months later.
November 2021, another young rookie manager and ex-player of a London football club gets into an argument with Jurgen Klopp at Anfield. Will our young rookie defy the odds or will Jurgen’s pearly whites strike again?
I’m afraid you won’t get your wish … but keep trying!! 😉
Maybe Klopp will be the one sent packing? One can dream.
I am sad
It’s the hope that kills u…
I dont think we competed. Partey needed to boss things at least for some period but I doubt if he was even there on the pitch.
Mane’s shithousery was next level. Fair fucks.
What do you mean “we just crashed”. You have a full blown 2weeks to prepare for that match and that’s the excuse we get, ” WE JUST CRASHED” wow.
We had a full strength team and we got mauled. What we happen in January when we are less strong? I wonder!!
We crashed and he did nothing to stop it besides pretend to be an Alpha male first half. 1) Midfield extremely lightweight. This from neglect last summer. Many prefer to imagine Partey & Sambi are the dog’s bollocka but we had poor control. Putting on ANN & Elneny merely emphasized the paucity of quality on hand. 2) Gaffer did nothing to stop suicidal play out from the back thru our centre. Tavares and Sambi guilty but also Partey & Tomiyasu got robbed. Players higher up (Auba particularly) did not offer sufficient outlet to pass long. Our balls from the back… Read more »
the manager and the players must learn pragmatism