Disappointment for Arteta after Arsenal draw with Sheffield United
PUBLISHED: 10:56 20 January 2020 | UPDATED: 10:56 20 January 2020
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Mikel Arteta was left disappointed after Arsenal's 1-1 draw with Sheffield United at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon - a game he thought they deserved to win.
Gabriel Martinelli opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time, but John Fleck's 83rd-minute volley snatched the win away from the Gunners to leave Arteta frustrated.
"I'm very disappointed today," he said.
"I think the performance deserved three points and I think we lost two points.
"In the Premier League, if you don't put the game to bed then in the last 10 or 15 minutes this type of team just need a long ball, a second ball, a set-piece, and you can give the points away.
"I think they all went full gas and I think they all tried really hard.
"I think we put them under real pressure every time and we didn't allow them to come out the way they do, to generate the overloads in wide areas and control the second phase, or put balls into the box.
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"I don't think that was the case. Maybe in the first five or 10 minutes, we had to figure out the game a little bit but after that I think we did.
"Then when you're 1-0 up, the last 10 minutes things change. They changed to a back four and they started to commit more bodies forward, and then they'd have six players in front of the ball.
"It's more difficult to control when they play long balls or second balls like this. It's not easy."
Despite some positive performances, Arsenal have won just one of their five Premier League games under Arteta, but he is aware that it will take time to turn around the testing situation he has inherited from former boss Unai Emery.
"I don't know what was done before," he said.
"I think they tried to do the best possible thing.
"I inherited a team that was in a difficult situation and we're trying to improve it as much as possible."
Despite conceding late on, Arsenal felt aggrieved that they were not awarded a penalty earlier in the second half after a foul on Nicolas Pepe.
Referee Mike Dean didn't award the spot kick and neither did VAR after a review of the incident, but Arteta had a very different take, saying: "I think it's very clear."