Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has hit out at his players following their 2-2 draw with Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday. The Gunners missed the chance to again extend their lead over Manchester City to eight points after letting a two-goal lead slip.
Arsenal raced into a 2-0 lead inside the first half an hour. Gabriel Martinelli scored the opener, poking home from close range.
The Brazilian turned provider for his international team-mate Gabriel Jesus, who headed in the Gunners’ second. Arsenal appeared to be in cruise control but Liverpool pulled one back before half-time when Mohamed Salah got on the end of a scuffed Jordan Henderson shot.
Salah missed the opportunity to equalise when he sent a spot-kick wide. But Liverpool did draw level eventually after applying pressure for most of the second half.
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Roberto Firmino scored his 11th career goal against the Gunners. Liverpool could easily have won the game but for some fine saves from Aaron Ramsdale in the final stages.
Arteta admits his team were in control of the game in the first half. But he was critical of how they let the match slip through their fingers.
He told Sky Sports: “Wow. Very intense game. The game was under control but after that we conceded a really sloppy goal and the game shifted momentum.
“We started well in the first few minutes [of the second half] but then lost control. It became a very transitional game, very chaotic. Liverpool could score three or four. It is true we could have scored two or three so maybe at the end the score is fair.”
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Arteta insists his team would have won if they kept up their performance from the first half. He added: “We could have taken three points.
“We should do that [play like the first half] for another 15 minutes and then the game would have taken a very different trajectory. We didn’t. We have to take the point.”
Arsenal are still six points clear at the top of the table but City have a game in hand. Arteta has urged his players to move on from Sunday’s match ahead of next weekend’s game at West Ham.
He concluded: “Move on. Convince them to keep playing like we did in the first 30 minutes.”
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