Mikel Arteta apologized for Arsenal’s lackluster showing in Saturday’s 3-0 home loss to Liverpool, acknowledging that his team should have lost by a larger margin.
Liverpool’s title hopes were mathematically over after a season of mixed performances, terrible results, and horrific injury issues.
But they were back to their brilliant best at the Emirates Stadium, dominating Arsenal and winning 3-0 thanks to a brace from substitute Diogo Jota either side of a Mohamed Salah strike.
Arteta told Sky Sports: “We completely deserved to lose the game. They were better in every department and deserved to win the game with the margin they had, or even more. I accept responsibility for the way we played today.“
Mikel Arteta’s 50th Premier League fixture
Arteta’s 50th Premier League match in charge of Arsenal, and he called for the Gunners to take the game to Liverpool, where they took the corresponding fixture last year with a combination of guile, guts, and luck.
But with an injured quartet of David Luiz, Granit Xhaka, Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe missing, Arteta admitted his side got what they deserved. Gary Neville believes the Spaniard will now have a clear picture of needs be done in the summer transfer window.
The fans will be disappointed, but the boss will be the most disappointed. There were some withdrawals prior to the game, and we said it was an enormous opportunity for those young lads. They may have been suffocated, but they developed and emerged.
Arsenal have only won one of their last 12 Premier League games against Liverpool. Arteta can now focus on his half-century as Gunners manager, knowing that his predecessor Unai Emery (13) lost four fewer games after his first 50 games in the competition.
So have Arsenal progressed since Arteta’s appointment in December 2019?
Their results since winning the cup have been deplorable. You might say, “They didn’t have Saka, Smith Rowe, or Xhaka playing today, but they’re ninth in the league with them.”
This isn’t good enough for Arsenal. This is a side that wants to be attracting the best players next season. I know they’ve got the Europa League to look forward to, but the way his side played tonight, Arteta has to pick their confidence up really quickly.
That today was like watching Arsenal six or seven months ago when they were really struggling and there was a lot of talk of Arteta losing his job. It was really poor.
They have brought arsenal fans up on attacking football with the likes of Henry, Bergkamp, Ljungberg, Pires, but right now they’re probably watching that game from behind their sofa. They don’t want to hear about their team defending better.
They’d rather see their team go out and lose 4-3 but through playing in the right manner. They’ve got to be exciting to watch as this is Arsenal.
Arsenal now hosts Slavia Prague in their Europa League quarter-final first leg at 8 pm on Thursday, before going to Sheffield United at 7 pm on Sunday in the Premier League.
Liverpool go to Real Madrid at 8pm on Tuesday in the Champions League quarter-final first leg, and then host Aston Villa at 3pm on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Premier League.