Mikel Arteta saw his Arsenal side’s unbeaten start to the season come to an end as they were comprehensively beaten 3-1 at Manchester United on Sunday.
A debut goal from Antony and Marcus Rashford’s brace set the Red Devils on their way, with the Gunners’ only response coming through Bukayo Saka despite enjoying moments of domination.
The defeat brought Arsenal’s winning streak come to an end, though they still lead the Premier League table by a point.
Here’s how the Arsenal boss reflected on a game packed with goals, VAR incidents and drama.
Thoughts on the game?
“Very disappointed that we haven’t won the game because the game was there for the taking. We haven’t won it because we lacked discipline in certain moments to defend certain actions, and we weren’t ruthless enough in their box.
“We lacked discipline. We concede the first goal where after the action in the contact with Bruno we’re still three-vs-three but we don’t follow our principles and we concede the goal when it’s two against one. After that it was all us, chance after chance, imposing ourselves in the way we wanted. I said at half time to the boys ‘the game is there for the taking, if we play with more courage we’re going to win the game.’
“After the 1-1 it should be two or three and then in our best moment we gave the ball away in a dangerous area and on top of that we stepped in when we can never do that in a dangerous area against that team and we suffered the goal. It’s a big lesson. If you want to win here you have to do everything so right and especially if you don’t do it there in the opponent’s goal with the number of chances we created.”
Does the defeat show Arsenal have more to learn?
“To be consistent with the top teams and challenging at the top of this league, you have to come here and play the way you want to play but win, and then it’s a very different story. To play the way we played here today, I want to see how many teams do that this season.”
Will the defeat impact Arsenal’s confidence?
“It won’t happen. That won’t happen because the performance is there and we know what we lacked today – the details to lose the game.
“You are here and you have a very different performance with the same result and then it’s a hard one to take because you are questioning your level. I don’t think there’s any question about the level there.”
Did you notice anything different about Man Utd?
“I’m not here to talk about United. What I saw is a very different Arsenal team that came here and played the way we wanted to play against these world-class players and unfortunately we couldn’t get the result we deserved.”
Was it right to disallow the goal?
“I haven’t seen the action but what they said is that it was a soft foul so it’s just consistency. The soft foul on Bukayo Saka with Mings is not a penalty last week, the soft foul against Aaron Ramsdale when we concede a goal against Villa, it’s a goal. So just consistency. There’s nothing we can do now, it’s too late, but it’s just consistency.”
Is it hard to maintain balance with players out?
“You haven’t heard me [talk] about that and I don’t want any excuses because these are the players we have. For me, they are the best players. We give them confidence and belief and with those players, we play here the way we played. That’s it. That’s not going to change.”
Chelsea drops Fofana update after initial tests on knee injury
Wesley Fofana’s knee injury is better than initially feared after the first set of tests returned positive results.
The defender suffered a knee injury in a collision with Rafael Leao in the 38th minute of Chelsea’s 3-0 home win against AC Milan, as his night ended in frustrating fashion having scored his first goal for the club earlier in the match.
There is hope that Fofana could return before the World Cup, with Chelsea’s final match before the tournament taking place away to Newcastle on November 12.
The centre-back is likely to miss this weekend’s clash against Wolves and the away match at San Siro against Milan next week.
Fofana was seen leaving Stamford Bridge on crutches on Wednesday night, with his right knee in a brace as there were worries he may have suffered a serious injury.
Speaking in his post-match press conference after Chelsea’s victory over Milan, Blues boss Graham Potter admitted he was unsure how bad it would prove to be for Fofana.
‘We’ll have to scan it tomorrow and see how he is but there’s nothing to report at the moment,” Potter said.
“That’s the one disappointing thing about the evening so we have our fingers crossed. We’re concerned but I don’t want to speculate on it now.
“These things happen. He’s a young guy and a strong guy but we’ll support him.”
Erik ten Hag explains decision to substitute Jadon Sancho in Omonia victory
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has confessed that he was unimpressed with the left side of his team in the first half of Thursday’s 3-2 victory over Omonia Nicosia, leading to him substituting both Jadon Sancho and Tyrell Malacia at half-time.
United were woeful in the first half and trailed at the break after Sancho and Malacia conspired to give away the ball for the cheapest of counter-attack goals, and both were hooked at the interval.
Sancho was replaced by Marcus Rashford, who went on to bag a goal and an assist, while fellow substitute Anthony Martial also scored just moments after being introduced on the hour mark.
Asked to explain his logic behind removing Sancho while his team were losing, Ten Hag said: “It [the goal] was not what I wasn’t happy with, it was the movement with our ball.
“The width on the left side, for me, was no good first-half – the movement from behind the defending line.
“So I hoped with Luke [Shaw] and Marcus we get more effect from that and so in my opinion that happens.”
Asked what he told Rashford and the rest of the team at the break to inspire a comeback, Ten Hag told BT Sport: “More runs, we are too static, we have to make the opposition move to get behind – that is why we made two subs.
“The subs really had an impact today.”
The boss added: “I would call it stay composed. It can always happen, football is a game of mistakes. I agree with you, first 30 or 35 minutes, we played quite well, the only thing we didn’t do was score a goal.
“When you score a goal you make your life easy, we didn’t. Then we concede a goal and it was the worst 10 minutes from the game from us. After half-time, we dealt well with the setback.”
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