The Gunners’ top-four journey hopes took a detour following their visit to Crystal Palace.
Mikel Arteta has apologised to Arsenal fans following their disappointing defeat in Monday night’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace. The 40-year-old Spanish coach watched on as the Gunners fell to an agonising 3-0 loss at the Selhurst Park, putting their top-four aspirations in a tricky situation.
Following Tottenham Hotspur’s big win over Newcastle, Arsenal had their fate in their hands after being demoted to fifth place by their cross-town rivals. The objective against Crystal Palace was to secure a win which would have increased their points tally to 57, enough to hand them a three-point lead above Spurs who have a game in hand. However, things did not go according to their script with Palace emerging as the superior side in the final match of the Premier League game week.
By half time, Arsenal were 2-0 down with the host assuming a commanding position thanks to goals by Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jordan Ayew. In the second half, Arteta’s side failed to garner a second-half response and had their plight worsened after Wilfred Zaha earned and scored a penalty inside the the 74th minute. The night’s result marked Crystal Palace’s first home victory in the league in 2022, having lost three and drawn two of the five matches they have played thus far.
The game’s outcome also meant that for the fifth time in Arsenal’s history, they have lost a Premier League London derby by three or more goals. Following the conclusion of the game, Mikel Arteta apologized to fans of his side for their pragmatic approach, ahead of a run of difficult games which could hamper their top-four aspiration.
He said on Sky Sports: “Congratulations to Palace for the game they played but we made it impossible for ourselves with the way we competed. You have to be physical and run and then you earn the right to play. We were really inconsistent on the ball and that is unacceptable.
“We were poor, especially in the first half. I apologise to our supporters. We didn’t have the presence today or the composure to dominate the situation so that is what I’m most annoyed with. Some days you are not there and you are late all the time. They got on top of it and had a good atmosphere and we could not get out.
“When we had the big chances we didn’t score to give ourselves the best chance to get back in the game. First of all we need to put our hands up and get the criticism we deserve. Then we accept it, look ourselves in the mirror and look to the next game. This was not good enough.
“We have to face the challenge and the opportunity is in our hands. We have to be honest with ourselves and support each other.” Arsenal will now be looking to get back to winning ways next time out against Southampton with a game against Brighton to come after that.
Arsenal will face their rivals in a north London derby. The outcome of the game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium could be crucial in determining who finishes fourth at the end of the season.