Mikel Arteta has told his players that they need to rely on the quality they showed in the first half of the clash with Liverpool during the title race following the 2-2 draw.
Arsenal were in stunning form in the opening half an hour, scoring two goals through Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli. The Gunners were then pegged back just before half-time by a goal from Mohamed Salah, before substitute Roberto Firmino scored an 87th minute equaliser.
The Gunners were then forced to rely on two miracle saves from goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale to ensure they left Anfield with a point.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Arteta revealed that he told his players that they shouldn’t rely on the ‘resilience’ shown late in the game during the closely-fought Premier League title race:
“[We have to] convince them to keep playing like we did in the first 30 minutes. The lesson is not from the second half and the resilience. We don’t want to rely on that, we want to rely on what we did in the first half.”
Arteta also took the time to discuss how good his team were in that first 30 minutes, and admitted that conceding a ‘really sloppy goal’ before half-time changed the complexion of the game:
“The game was under control but after that we concede a really sloppy goal and the game shifted momentum. We started well in the first few minutes [of the second half] but then lost control. It became a very transitional game, very chaotic.
“Liverpool could score three or four. It is true we could have scored two or three so maybe at the end the score is fair.
“I haven’t seen anyone do it [dominate] in this ground this season. They beat every big team here, they played Real Madrid and could have been four up after 20 minutes. They are going to have moments. You need to deal with them and we did. Our goalkeeper had a big part in that.
“We could taken three points. We should do that [play like the first half] for another 15 minutes and then the game would have taken a very different trajectory. We didn’t. We have to take the point.”
Arsenal now sit six points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table, with their title rivals holding a game in hand over them.
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