Saturday, May 25, 2024

“The goal affected us in a negative way” – Arteta reacts to Arsenal’s win at Old Trafford

Arsenal’s 1-0 win against Manchester United ensures the Gunners’ title challenge will go to the final weekend of the season but Mikel Arteta admits his side didn’t produce the performance he wanted after taking the lead in the first half. 

Leandro Trossard’s tap-in on 20 minutes, created by the industrious Kai Havertz, should have been a shot in the arm for the visiting side but the players subsequently went into their shell and were far more interested in keeping Erik Ten Hag’s depleted side at bay rather than going for the jugular. 

While substitute Gabriel Martinelli and Declan Rice both forced United keeper Andre Onana into late saves, it’s fair to say Arsenal laboured under the weight of expectations for much of the game. 

Speaking to Sky Sports, Arteta made clear his side didn’t underestimate the challenge they faced: “Absolutely not. We knew the difficulty of it, that’s why we have only won twice in 20 years here. 

“We started the game really well, scored the goal. And the goal affected us in a negative way, especially with the things that we had to do on the ball.”

Asked if his players went into protection mode, he continued: “I think so and playing to save, and playing backwards, and playing in areas where it wasn’t progressing our play and creating the threat that we wanted. We started to give a lot of balls away because of that and then the game became open but it’s true that on the same hand, we defended so well again.”

Arsenal’s win was built on the solidity of centre-back pairing Gabriel Magalhaes and man-of-the-match William Saliba, but the manager was quick to praise the collective efforts that went into an 11th away clean sheet of the season. 

“I think it’s the attitude of the whole team [that’s important]. Look at Kai, the way he’s chasing people, the way he puts pressure on the ball all the time. It’s the discipline in a lot of habits that for defending are super important. I think David [Raya] as well was very, very good today again. So it’s a collective thing. 

“We are really happy to win but you want to play better, especially with the things that we did on the ball in the second half because there was so much space to help them. 

“That’s another step that the team has to take when it comes to these stages, to be even more dominant but the difficulty today was it was high stakes. We did the same at Spurs, so big credit to the boys.

On the stakes being so high, he added:  “Yeah, it is. You don’t have margins for error. You play big teams with necessity, teams that really want to make things difficult against you, and you have the necessity to win and that has to be managed emotionally.”

Arsenal currently sit top of the table but know Manchester City will restore a two-point advantage on Tuesday night if they beat Sp*rs at White Hart Lane. Whatever happens though, the title won’t be decided until next Sunday. 

“Today we wanted to open that door to play the last game in front of our people, our families will be there,” said Arteta. 

“Let’s live one of the most beautiful days that we have lived together and see what happens. 

“We will certainly be watching the game [on Tuesday]. I watch all the games. It’s true, we need that result in order to achieve it, and on top of that, we have to do our job, so everything is at stake still.

“It’s football, there are always possibilities.”

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NorthernGooner

I wonder if the players have been affected by a virus or something. A few of them looked visibly tired and physically unfit.

Daveod

I actually think it was just nerves, after about 35 minutes I was saying I think partey needs to come off here for jorginho, he wasn’t playing horrendously but a couple dodgy passes got the crowd up lifted man u’s belief, and it kind of became contagious, even declan rice was getting sloppy……but its over now we won and this team seem very good at learning lessons

Dr. Gooner

I wanted Jorgi on after 10 minutes. Watching TP today was painful.

Santi’s Phonebox

His yips were contagious.

Trion

Well said Arteta.
We were unshockingly passive today. 2nd balls were not won and we lacked the zip we know this team is capable of. Manchester Utd were better but lacked end product.
At this stage of the season it’s the result that matters.
ManUtd didn’t do any favors to Man115ester City today, I’m not expecting Spurs to, on Tuesday.
We still need to do our job on Sunday anyway and see what might come out of it.
#COYG

IamaGoober

The previous weekends NLD and that game this afternoon fucking aged me, those minutes felt like I was stuck in some weird Chris Nolan movie when time isnt a true representation of itself and it just creeps by ever slowly, and every time you glance up at the clock, if anything it seems as if time wasn’t moving at all. When those 6 minutes went up I wanted to walk away from the TV, but at the same time I couldn’t. I thought Raya’s management of the game today, and in those moments was brilliant — the complete opposite influence… Read more »

Der32

Whatever groggy, nervousness and anxiety we had, I hope it’s contagious and City will have some of that on Tuesday.

Speaking of our neighbors, we need to use reverse psychology and reverse psychosis to reverse their misfortune and aptitude for a spursy moment. Let’s all not get our hopes up for them to show up at all. Tell their fans they build their shiny new stadium for nothing, City will steamroll them with ease. It’s Tottenham. We’re not hoping for nothing at all. Hopefully this will induce them to do the exact opposite. Desperate times, desperate measures.

Dr. Gooner

The reality is unfortunately that City probably will steamroll them with ease. I thought Fulham had a better chance to be honest, but Spurs do have better forwards. Maybe a 2-2 is possible.

Dr. Gooner

Wer sind der zwei und dreizig?

Chopra_Gooner

I’m happy that we won the game today. Last season during the run-in we were leading in the games but, ended up drawing or losing because our attacking intent was gone after leading.

Otto von Bismarck

Well, we are at least in it till the last game. For so long we were out of the title race by end October. We now have players of real stature in both character and physically. We also have a division of labour between the manager and the dealmaker. Champions league next season without qualification. What’s not to like?

Celebration Police

1 nil to the Arsenal on Sunday
1 nil to the Spurs on Tuesday.
North London teams winning 2 games against Manchester teams in the space of 3 days. Can’t believe I’m rooting for Spurs (name intentionally spelled correctly. We need them now)

ChickPEA

As long as you don’t celebrate if they win, and just get down the tunnel.

Collibosher
Collibosher

😀 😉

Arkadiusz

You won my league of comments with this one 😂

Doctor Perceptron

I’m not cheering for Spurs to win, I’m cheering for City to lose.

Damon

Full of admiration for this team and manager. What a performance this season and having the grit to win at Old Trafford even when well below par and when it mattered so much.
In any season before the Man C115y era we would have been champions.

Man Manny

That was pretty poor from the gunners. We might have a poor record there, but that United team is the weakest we’ve ever faced…and we had our first team intact.
“The goal affected us negatively,” is the oddest statements from Arteta, only bested by the substituting goalkeepers comment during the Raya/Ramsdale conundrum.

Dr. Gooner

Gosh, it’s totally true though. We stopped trying to be our best selves at that point and just let them have the ball. That’s not what an Arteta team does.

Teryima Adi

And we have our own “Aguerooooooo moment” on Sunday and lift the EPL. Stuff dreams are made of and dreams come true.😀

Dr. Gooner

Exactly

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