EPL

Arteta stunned by 'unacceptable' Arsenal show as Liverpool maul Gunners

By Sports Desk April 03, 2021

Mikel Arteta said Arsenal's dire display against Liverpool had left him "in shock" after the Gunners surrendered 3-0 at home.

The seething manager attempted to take the blame for the performance, but disdain for the effort of his players was all too clear in the Spaniard's verdict.

Substitute Diogo Jota scored twice and Mohamed Salah also netted as Liverpool ran riot in the final half hour at Emirates Stadium.

Until then, Arsenal had been holding on, while never looking capable of going on to win the game. The home side had three attempts at goal, while Liverpool had 16 efforts on the way to winning by their biggest ever margin in an away league game at Arsenal.

Arteta told Sky Sports: "We completely deserved to lose the game. They were better in every department.

"They deserved to win the game with the margin that they have, or more. It was unacceptable from our side, the way we played.

"They won every duel, every second ball, every challenge. They were brave when they had the ball, they made the right decisions; we didn't.

"It was my fault. I had to set the team to play in a different way and perform in a different way. Congratulations to Liverpool because I think they were exceptional.

"We saw the difference today between the two teams, that when we perform at that level the margin is incredibly high.

"The standard has to be much higher from this football club and my job is to get them to perform at that level. We could not put three passes together. There were too many things that were not done right.

"At the moment I'm in shock. I didn't expect that, with the way the team trained, the way the team tries, but it happened. That is the reality."

Arsenal tackle Slavia Prague in the quarter-finals of the Europa League on Thursday. Arteta knows there must be a major response from his players.

He said: "If you have courage and you have big balls and you represent a club like this, you have to stand up in the next game and take it."

Related items

  • Pochettino '100 per cent' at PSG, expects to be 'judged by work', not Mbappe relationship Pochettino '100 per cent' at PSG, expects to be 'judged by work', not Mbappe relationship

    Mauricio Pochettino is "100 per cent" committed to Paris Saint-Germain and does not believe his future at the club will be decided by his relationship with Kylian Mbappe.

    Both Pochettino and Mbappe have been the subject of speculation for much of this season.

    But while the superstar forward has signed a new contract in Paris, snubbing Real Madrid, it is unclear how that development impacts his coach.

    Pressure has been building on Pochettino since PSG again failed to win the Champions League, losing to Madrid in the last 16 despite Mbappe scoring in both legs.

    Given reports suggest Mbappe has been given a significant say in the running of the club as part of his new deal, it would appear crucial Pochettino keeps the World Cup winner onside.

    But in an interview with COPE, the former Tottenham boss seemed confident he would be given the opportunity to prove his worth at the Parc des Princes regardless.

    "I have said I am 100 per cent here. Today I tell you I am 100 per cent here," Pochettino said.

    "I have one more year of contract. The challenges are there and it motivates any coach.

    "I don't think [the relationship with Mbappe is decisive]. I will be judged by the work. We have won all the titles that previous coaches have won. That is earned regularly, and you have to give it value. This league is not easy."

    Asked if he wanted to keep his job, Pochettino added: "Of course, 100 per cent. It's a club that has ambition. The big disappointment is the Champions League because of the desire of the people."

  • Mane promises 'best answer' on Liverpool future after Champions League final Mane promises 'best answer' on Liverpool future after Champions League final

    Sadio Mane will wait until after the Champions League final before revealing "the best answer you want to hear" on his Liverpool future.

    Mane has been a key man for Liverpool as they have challenged for silverware on four fronts this season, scoring 23 goals and assisting two across 50 games in all competitions.

    The 30-year-old winger is excelling again despite uncertainty surrounding his future at Anfield, where his contract is due to expire in 12 months' time.

    Team-mates Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino are in the same position, but Mane is determined talk of a departure will not distract from Saturday's huge match against Real Madrid.

    And he teased he will "give you all you want to hear" after the Paris showpiece.

    "I think the answer I can give you now is I feel very good," Mane said. "I am fully focused on Saturday's game, that is the answer I must give before the final.

    "But come back to me on Saturday and I will give you the best answer you want to hear, for sure. It's special. I will give you all you want to hear then.

    "I love what I am doing, and I sacrifice myself all the time. I am working hard every single day on the pitch and in the gym, and I get better and better, that's the most important. I am trying my best to help the team."

    Mane scored in the 2018 final between Liverpool and Madrid, with the Spanish giants running out 3-1 winners.

    The Santiago Bernabeu side could be among the suitors for Mane should he leave Liverpool, but his aim for now is to beat them.

    "Good question," he said when asked about the possibility of being approached by Madrid. "But what I want to say now is I am fully focused on the Champions League and winning it, which is far more important for me and the Liverpool fans.

    "I will do everything absolutely possible to win the game for Liverpool.

    "I think we all forgot about what happened in 2018. For sure, Real Madrid were the better team then and deserved to win the game, but it is going to be a different game."

  • Mane saddened by lack of African Ballon d'Or winners Mane saddened by lack of African Ballon d'Or winners

    Sadio Mane believes an African winner of the Ballon d'Or is overdue, with both he and Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah seemingly in the frame ahead of Saturday's Champions League final.

    Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated the award since 2008, with Luka Modric the only player to break their hegemony in the World Cup year of 2018.

    France Football announced changes to the voting process in March, moving to align with the European club season and reducing the number of judges to make wins "much more demanding".

    George Weah was the first and only African winner of the prestigious individual prize in 1995, but Mane appears to be in contention after enjoying a fine season with Liverpool and winning the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal.

    "It's true. If you guys say it, what can I say myself? Which is sad," Mane said of the lack of African recognition.

    "For me, it would be even more special to have another bonus, which is the Ballon d'Or, and I would be the most happy player in the world.

    "This cup, the Africa Cup of Nations, is one of the biggest for myself, it is the biggest trophy I have won in my life, and for an African player not to have won the Ballon d'Or since George Weah is sad for sure.

    "Winning the Champions League is special. I have a chance to play it again, and we will do everything we can to win it, and then we will see what happens with the Ballon d'Or."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.