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Declan Rice reveals what he did before Arsenal defeat to Aston Villa

Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice has revealed that he was unaware of Liverpool’s loss before the Gunners’ own disappointing defeat

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Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice
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Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice has disclosed that he was oblivious to Liverpool’s defeat before their own disappointing result.

Arsenal’s hopes of claiming the Premier League title took a significant hit as they succumbed to a 2-0 defeat against Aston Villa, compounding Liverpool’s earlier loss to Crystal Palace. 

Liverpool’s unexpected 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace in Sunday’s early fixture paved the way for Arsenal to reclaim the top spot in the league standings. However, late goals from Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins secured a memorable victory for Villa, leaving Arsenal crestfallen and relinquishing control of their title aspirations.

Speaking to Match of the Day, Rice revealed that he remained unaware of Liverpool’s defeat, emphasising the team’s focus on their own performance. He explained that his attention was solely on Arsenal’s match against Villa, with no distractions from external results.

READ MORE: Mikel Arteta remains defiant despite Arsenal setback in title race

“I didn’t know they’d [Liverpool] got beat. My phone was off before the game, I didn’t check the scores or speak to anyone because we can only control what we can do.

“I don’t worry about the other teams. Obviously, we didn’t control that today which is obviously annoying but we’ve played last before and it’s not been a problem so I don’t think any of that really matters to be honest. I think it’s just down to us, we can’t put it down to that.

Despite the setback, Rice maintained a resilient attitude, stressing the importance of self-reflection and accountability within the team. He highlighted the need for a swift response ahead of their crucial Champions League quarter-final second leg against Bayern Munich.

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Declan Rice added: “We need to look at ourselves and see why we didn’t win the game and why we switched off for two or three minutes, which has killed us. It’s disappointing, but now there is the chance for a big reaction on Wednesday night and then away at Wolves. We’re going to need to be right at it.”

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta echoed Rice’s sentiments and the significance of bouncing back from adversity. He acknowledged the inevitability of setbacks in a challenging league campaign but emphasised the importance of character and leadership in overcoming obstacles.

 “We all know that. The impact is now, how you react to that. There was always going to be a bump in the road. We won 10, drew one. Unbelievable, everybody is on board. Win, win, win win, win, win, win, win – everybody is happy. 

“It’s very easy to maintain momentum and be on top of that. It’s now after that defeat, how you show you character and your leadership and going to Munich, we have a beautiful opportunity to do that.”

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