EPL

Arteta bristles at Arsenal fixtures: 'Thank you so much to the Premier League'

By Sports Desk March 16, 2022

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has hit out at the Premier League's fixturing ahead of a busy period of catch-up games for the Gunners.

The Gunners suffered a dent in their top-four hopes on Wednesday after going down 2-0 at home to second-placed Liverpool.

The Spanish boss was sarcastic in his response when asked about Arsenal's upcoming logjam of fixtures that includes a fast turnaround to play Aston Villa in the league at lunchtime on Saturday, before facing Chelsea and Manchester United in quick succession next month (April 20 and 23).

“Thank you so much to the Premier League for doing that," Arteta told reporters.

"And they’ve done it again when we have to play Chelsea and Manchester United. So if they want to give them any advantage, I say to them today: ‘Thank you so much for doing that’.”

He added: “No [the Premier League wouldn't change the schedule]. It is always it’s BT, it’s Sky, it is this, it’s that. But the one that is affected is Arsenal and the only thing that I care [about] and we care [about] is Arsenal. And for Arsenal it is not fair.”

Arsenal are currently fourth on the table with 51 points from 27 games, while United are fifth on 50 points but having played two more games.

Arteta insisted his players would be ready for Saturday's test against the Villans despite the turnaround as they seek to put ground on United in the race for the top four.

"Yes, 100 percent, don’t worry the players will be there on Saturday with the energy," he said.

"They will sleep, eat well, but thank you so much to the Premier League for putting the fixtures like this, it’s very, very helpful."

On the Liverpool loss, Arteta said the difference was being clinical in attack, with both sides having nine shots each and the Reds edging possession 52-48 percent.

Martin Odegaard fluffed a golden opportunity after a Liverpool turnover in defence, while the Reds capitalised on their chances with goals from Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino.

"It was the difference today. I don’t think there was any other difference apart from that," Arteta said.

"I think we have closed that gap a lot, but it wasn’t enough because when we went through that door and they went through that door, they scored two goals.

"I’m not happy with the goals that we conceded, but it’s part of the game and when you have those chances you have to take them to get something out of it."

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