Mikel Arteta said he was “in shock” after Arsenal’s defeat to Liverpool and admitted they had reached “a really low level”.
Arsenal were outplayed as they lost 3-0 to last season’s champions. The Gunners never really got going and Liverpool’s pressure eventually paid off with three goals in the second half. The result leaves Arsenal languishing in ninth in the table.
Arteta faces a tough task to lift them into the European places and they will have to avoid any more performances like that to do so.
A win would have moved them within one point of Liverpool, but now the gap is seven points wide. Indeed, there was a gulf in class between the two sides’ performances on the pitch.
Arteta told Match of the Day: “They were better in every department. I take the blame, it’s my responsibility.
“They were the best team by far, they won by three goals and it could have been more.
“They won every duel, every second ball, every challenge. To be fair I’m in shock. I didn’t expect that one coming.
“It’s my job to make things better. Today we hit a really low level. It was not acceptable.
“For sure we cannot hit that level again. When you represent this club you have to stand up and take the challenge.”
Arteta has no excuses
The Gunners manager reiterated his belief that the performance was not acceptable by the standards the club should have.
He added to Sky Sports: “I don’t have to use any excuses, that we don’t have five or six players. The standards are much higher at this football club and I have to get them to perform at that level.
“It was technical as well. We gave every ball away and could not put three passes together. The basics weren’t there today. If you do that against this kind of opponent, you get punished like we have.
Arteta will now have to turn his attention to Thursday’s Europa League quarter-final against Slavia Prague. Winning that competition may be their easiest route back into Europe.
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