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Arteta left frustrated by self implosion

by Koolkola

Mikel Arteta was left frustrated by Slavia Prague’s stoppage time equaliser as the visitors, outplayed for most of the game, snatched a 1-1 draw against Arsenal at the Emirates.

Nicolas Pepe, on as a sub, had given the Gunners the lead with four minutes remaining but the Gunners couldn’t hold onto a first leg advantage on a night when they squandered a number of big chances.

After the game, the boss faced the BT Sport cameras. Here’s what he had to say…

On failing to see out the game…

The game is under control. We got the goal that we wanted after we missed some big, big chances as well, I must say. But then we played two or three balls in certain areas that we should not do. We put ourselves on the back foot and we concede the corner and from there, they put a lot of bodies in there and anything can happen. Obviously, it changes a lot the feeling after the game.

On whether he should have made his substitutions earlier…

No, we know we have the possibility to change things with the five subs. We believe it was the right time with the set-up that they had. It was the right moment to do it and they had a big impact. When you’re in this competition, the subs have a lot to say and they made an impact that we need. Unfortunately, we didn’t capitalise at the end with the result that we wanted.

On a difficult first half…

It’s difficult because they are a really good opponent. They’ve beaten some big teams and they are really difficult to play against. The way they do it is a lot of duels, a lot of man-to-man situations and you have to be able to resolve them. When we were able to do that we created big chances. When we didn’t the game was a little bit stuck and its not easy to clean it in every situation because it’s a lot of duels.

On a lack of cohesion…

I thought we were very effective in our high press, we regained a lot of balls there. It’s true that they have the capacity in the duels if they win it [the ball], to run in transition but I think we controlled that pretty well. We didn’t have a lot of problems in the first half. As I said, it’s more about the final result that leaves a difficult taste.

On what needs to change…

We need to win the game. The mindset is to go there and win the game, for sure. We need to score, we know that. We’ve done it in the past and i’m sure we’re able to do it again

On Slavia’s celebrations…

I just worry about our players and the things we have to do.

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