Mikel Arteta has lamented Arsenal’s struggles in front of goal after their 2-0 defeat to Liverpool in the third round of the FA Cup.
The Gunners fell to their third consecutive defeat on Sunday, but certainly created enough chances to win the game at the Emirates Stadium. Arteta’s side spurned 1.61 xG worth of opportunities in the game, with Martin Odegaard hitting the crossbar and Kai Havertz and Bukayo Saka missing chances from point blank range in the eventual loss.
Speaking to the press during his post-match press conference, the manager admitted that he was disappointed by his team’s inability to capitalise on the huge number of chances they created:
“It was a really disappointing result with a big performance against probably the team that is the most in-form in Europe. We were better than them, we generated much more than them, we created so many chances but we didn’t capitalise.
“Against these teams, you have to capitalise if you want to win. If you don’t score in that box, and then you concede an own goal and the second one like we did, it is difficult to win.
“It’s football, and you have to realise the situation and know we’re going to have to generate more and shoot better and arrive in better positions, but today we had plenty. Today we were better than them, and we should have won the game, there’s no question about that.”
Having now won just one of their last seven games in all competitions, Arteta was expectedly asked how Arsenal plan to turnaround their fortunes, replying:
“The players need it because we cannot question their effort, what they’ve done today, and the attitude they have played with, the courage, aggression – everything is there but the ball is not going in the right direction at the moment in the opponents’ half, and then you concede an own goal which is incredible.
“We have to change momentum, that’s for sure, and we need our players and we need our people as well. In the difficult moments, we stick together and get behind those players that, in my opinion, deserve so much.
“They appreciate that and we stick together and do what we have done in the past. There is nothing new, results will come and enjoyment will come.”
The Gunners will be back in Premier League action on January 20 when they face off against Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium.