Arteta admits Arsenal failed to spot Man City situation they had ‘prepared’ for

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Mikel Arteta admitted that Arsenal were “prepared” for some of the situations they had to defend against Manchester City, but still failed to address them.

Arsenal slipped to a 1-0 defeat after Raheem Sterling came home, a Riyad Mahrez cross started the game.

While there is still plenty of time, there was no going back for the Gunners.

Arteta admitted it was “difficult” to deal with concessions early on – especially given the way the goal was.

He said Sky Sports: “When we conceded the first goal, it put us in a difficult situation. It was hard.

“With the formation and the players they use, they are really comfortable. After that the team reacted really well, were on top of the game and created chances, but we lacked quality in those situations to score the goal.

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“We were wrong. We didn’t do it in the first 10 minutes. He’s a cross and Raheem Sterling can’t direct a ball there. You cannot concede that goal.

“It was a tactical thing we were prepared for but we didn’t read it in the game.

“We gained momentum and confidence and we were also very good on the ball. We found good spaces, but when we were in the last third we didn’t pick the right pass to score a goal.

Arteta knows all about City’s strengths having previously worked for them as a coach. However, he also knows that they don’t have a lot of weaknesses which has made it a challenge for Arsenal.

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He continued, “We tried to use some weaknesses that we thought we could exploit. They don’t have many! How they compete when they’ve done it in the last few minutes they’re on top.

“Today they played a little bit differently, but in this organization they can do a lot of really good things. They are handling the situation very well.


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Attention shifts to the Europa League

Arteta’s attention must now immediately turn to their Europa League game with Benfica on Thursday.

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The two teams are tied after the first leg of their round of 16 and Arteta is eager to progress.

He said: “We have a final on Thursday because we want to continue in the competition.

“We have to sleep, eat and we will not have time to train, then we will fly to Greece.”

The manager also confirmed that one of his players is feeling fine, after Rob Holding left as a substitute with a concussion.

Arteta said of the defender: “Yes, he’s fine.”

READ MORE: Arteta hopes to have talks with Arsenal ‘boss’ over permanent stay

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