Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says his side handed Tottenham the win.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says his side handed Tottenham the win after a disappointing defensive performance in the North London derby.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says his side handed Tottenham the win
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says his side handed Tottenham the win

Arsenal lost the first North London derby at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium despite taking the lead through Alex Lacazette’s beautiful long-range strike.

Mikel Arteta says 'an individual error and the set-piece' cost Arsenal the North London derby on Sunday.

The Gunners were thrashed 2-1 by their local rivals Spurs at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as goals from Heung-min Son and Toby Alderweireld meant Alexandre Lacazette's beautiful opener counted for nothing.

France forward Lacazette gave the Gunners the lead with a stunning long-range strike, but the hosts equalised immediately through Spurs winger Son - who capitalised on Sead Kolasinac's mistake before hitting the back of the net.

Arsenal came close to taking the lead again when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck the woodwork and the Gabonese striker's shot in the first-half was saved by goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

However, it was Jose Mourinho's side who had the last laugh when Belgium defender Alderweireld headed home late in the game to secure all three points, leaving Arteta disappointed about how his side gave the game away again.

The Spaniard said as quoted: "We gave them the game again, an individual error and the set-piece that cost us three points again. But I'm extremely proud of the way the team played. This is who we are, it doesn't matter in which ground we will come here and do what we've done today, nullify the opponent and force them to kick the ball long and give it back to us.

"We have to improve in these areas because to compete at that level, you know the game is always open and when you [don't] close it, you always have the uncertainty of what's going to happen. It's part of the process that we have and we will learn."

When asked which end of the pitch concerned him more, Arteta replied: "The goals we conceded. The other (scoring goals) is the hardest thing to do in football and it's the moment or a centimetre of hitting the bar or them making a good save. But the ones we had at the back today, we can do better."

On why it went wrong today, he said: "That effect, sometimes when a moment like this happens, after you are ahead, you are completely dominating the game, you feel solid, you feel you are pressing the right way, that you are nullifying the opponent. And that happens obviously, your mind goes a little bit like this. Then in the second half, it looks like 'OK, we are going to go, let's go and score the second guys and try to win the game'. The set-piece came in and we conceded the goal and then there wasn't enough time to turn it around."

When quizzed whether set-pieces are the main defensive concern, the Gunners boss said: "It's one of them but in this league it's very difficult. It is part of the process we are trying to do. We will improve there and we know how important they are in big matches. We talked about it before the game today that set-pieces in this game are crucial, and today it cost us the three points."

Follow Think Football Ideas across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Recent Posts

See All