‘You cannot give away the goals we did’: Arteta fumes at errors in Arsenal draw | Arsenal

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‘You cannot give away the goals we did’: Arteta fumes at errors in Arsenal draw | Arsenal


  • Gunners’ title hopes hit after 3-3 draw with Southampton
  • Arteta now looking ahead to Manchester City showdown

Mikel Arteta admitted he will have to erase any doubts that lie in his players’ minds if Arsenal are to get their flagging title campaign back on track over the final six games.

A surprise 3-3 home draw against Southampton means Arsenal moved five points ahead of Manchester City but their rivals now have two games in hand. City also host Arteta’s side at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday and Arsenal, who have now taken three points from as many games, appear to have lost their grip at the wrong time. They have conceded a string of sloppy goals and Arteta said his task is to ensure spirits remain high.

“It is not a final because there are still six games to go,” said Arteta of what has been billed as a title showdown against City. “The concern is turning around those moments, especially if the players in some moments are in doubt. In football you go through moments when you make errors and are not in a good moment, but you have to come away from that.”

Arteta praised Arsenal’s response to going two goals behind for a second time, which almost brought a late winner on top of Bukayo Saka’s 90th-minute equaliser, but lamented those mistakes at the back. “I don’t see a lack of confidence,” he said. “When a team does that normally players start to hide. I didn’t see a single player do that. They were all willing to take risks and initiative. That’s why we got back from 3-1 to 3-3 and should have won the game.

“The confidence is there. It’s just those moments. At this level you cannot give the goals away that we did. Simple as that.”

Again showering praise on his players, Arteta said: “I cannot love them any more.” He struck a bullish note ahead of the City visit, continuing: “I cannot wait, these are the games you want to play. When everything is at stake you have to go there to win. The game will be prepared (for) that, that is for sure.

“It is the beauty of this sport, you want to be in these positions. We will have an incredible trip to Manchester and we will prepare really well.”

The Southampton manager, Rubén Sellés, hopes his team will draw upon the positive of a rousing effort despite their late disappointment. “We showed character and we showed what we can do,” he said. “We are proud of the work ethic and that is the way we need to follow from now.”

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