Mikel Arteta has blamed individual errors in Arsenal’s 3-3 draw with Southampton in the Premier League on Friday.
Arsenal twice came from two goals down to snatch a late point at the Emirates, with Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka scoring in the 88th and 90th minutes, respectively, after Gabriel Martinelli gave us a lifeline midway through the game.
Southampton took an early lead in the first minute of the game when Carlos Alcaraz intercepted Aaron Ramsdale’s pass on the edge of the box to put the visitors in front. Former Gooner Theo Walcott scored the second in the 14th minute and Calta-Car in the second half in between Martinelli’s goal to give Southampton a cushion in the game.
Responding to questions in his post match interview, Arteta agreed that the goals conceded were down to individual and collective mistakes.
“Today it’s clear,” Arteta said. “Well at the end, empty obviously, because it was a very emotional game and I’m disappointed because we didn’t get the three points.
“After all that happened in the game I still believe that we deserved it, but we have to look in the mirror because we gave three really easy goals away and when you do that it’s extremely difficult to win in this league.”
Arsenal have failed to win any of the last three matches this season, which has opened the door for title rival Manchester City to close the gap on the Gunners.
The league leaders will travel to Manchester on Wednesday to face Pep Guardiola’s men in what may decide who wins the title at the end of the season.
READ MORE: MATCH REPORT: Arsenal 3-3 Southampton
Arsenal have not won any of their past 14 matches against Manchester City in the Premier League, conceding thirty-five times and scoring nine times, a record that dates back to December 2015.
Arteta says the players are eager to win the title and understand the importance of going up against Manchester City.
“They want it so much. For me personally, what I’ve experienced with not only the players but the staff and our supporters, it was incredible and I know how difficult it is. After one minute we made a big mistake to concede and then we made another mistake and it was 2-0.
“You’re trying to just play and play and play against a team that is doing what they have to do because of where they are ,and after the first time they go past the halfway line they scored a third one and then it’s a big question mark of what you do as a team and what you do as an individual.
“The response of the players, I cannot love them more, honestly. It is a joy to coach them and it is a joy to be a part of this club and to experience what I have experienced with this team. At the end the magic moment was there to be taken, we had two big chances at 3-3 to score but today it didn’t happen unfortunately.”
“We have talked about that. It’s about playing the game, not the occasion. We started to play the game and this happens because it happens in football and it happens in critical moments. What can you do?
“But then they tried to keep playing, playing, playing and then you see what you saw on that pitch and the amount of situations and chances, and what they are able to transmit to the crowd to get where we were. At the end it’s tough because you can see them on the floor and you have to leave them. I think everybody has to disconnect tonight, digest it and tomorrow start to think what is the best way to go to Manchester to beat them.”
Arsenal are leading the table with five points, despite City having two games in hand. Arteta does not see a lack of confidence from his players, but advises them not to keep giving goals away to their opponent.
“I don’t see the lack of confidence when a team is able to do that [what we did tonight]. Normally the players start to hide in certain moments – I didn’t see a single player do that, they were willing to take risks, to take the initiative.
“That’s why we created the chances we created, that’s why we got back to 3-3 from 3-1 and should have won the game. So, the confidence is there, it’s those moments that we need to cut back. At this level, we cannot give away the goals that we have given. It’s as simple as that.”