Arsenal manager faced the media after the game and discussed the performance, our disallowed goal, Alex Lacazette and more.
This is what he said:
on the performance…
Too be fair I was really pleased with the first half, the way we pressed, the aggression we showed against a team that are very capable of breaking that pressure and creating chances against you. We were very effective against that, we were on top of the game, we restricted to nothing, we had the right opportunities to attack good space and create some chances. We scored a goal as well on a set piece, I don’t know how it was disallowed. Then after that in the second half against a really low block you have to be patient and not make any error because this is what they are waiting for: they just need a moment to catch you on the break or with some space and we made the decision when there is no pressure on the ball to try to attack that space and they scored a good goal. After it was difficult in the last 15 minutes, even with three strikers on the pitch we didn’t manage to have enough continuity in our play and we have too many free kicks away, we didn’t put the ball as often as we could in the box. But credit to them for what they have done but I think it is a very harsh result for us considering what happened in the game.
on if he’s had an explanation for the disallowed goal…
Yes, it’s harsh because Granit is behind Schmeichel, he is not in front of him so he is nothing to do with that ball, it is away from him and Granit is behind. But it’s okay, they made that decision and we cannot change it.
on how frustrating that moment was…
Yes, but again we can have our view, but we have the specialists who are the referees to make that decision and they made a call that to wasn’t allowed and obviously it had a massive impact on the game because you have two teams where the margins are minimal and you can see in the Premier League at the moment that this is a big margin. I think we should still have not lost the game.
on the lack of aggression in the second half…
I think fatigue had a say as well. We didn’t look as sharp on the ball. We didn’t have as much purpose on the ball to create. Obviously, David was giving us something different when we had to attack the low block with his ability to attack the line and provoke, always threatening in behind. We lacked that a little bit in the second half. Still, credit to them, they are really organised when they do that. It is really difficult to create the chances. We created a really good one with Hector again and we didn’t convert. That’s the difference at the end, in the box, what we are able to do. Certainly, it’s an aspect that we have to improve.
on the possibility of Hector Bellerin being sent off…
I haven’t seen the action. I have seen the reaction of the bench from Leicester but I haven’t seen the action.
on Alex Lacazette lacking confidence…
Obviously, strikers need goals and he started tonight, he looked sharp and he was really aggressive in his play. Yeah, he had an opportunity to score that goal and he didn’t. I just support them and give them more confidence and [help them] try to create more.
on David Luiz…
I don’t know. We’ve lost a few players in the last week or so. David had a muscular problem and he couldn’t carry on – we’ll have to assess him in the next 48 hours.
In a match of fine margins, our early disallowed ‘goal’ proved to be a decisive moment.
So what did Mikel Arteta make of the third-minute incident which saw Alex Lacazette head us in front, only for it to be chalked off for an apparent infringement by Granit Xhaka?
“Yes, it’s harsh because Granit is behind Schmeichel,” our manager said. “He is not in front of him so he is nothing to do with that ball, it is away from him and Granit is behind. But it’s okay, they made that decision and we cannot change it.
“We can have our view, but we have the specialists who are the referees to make that decision and they made a call that it wasn’t allowed.
“Obviously it had a massive impact on the game because you have two teams where the margins are minimal. I think we should still have not lost the game.”
Mikel Arteta was understandably disappointed after we were beaten by Leicester on Sunday evening.
Despite dominating much of the game, we were caught out by a late Jamie Vardy goal and our manager was left to rue that costly lapse.
“I think the team started really well,” Arteta told Arsenal.com. “We had a really good first half against a really low block but they’re a team that has the ability to play and open you up as well. We didn’t allow that to happen, we were really aggressive, we won every duel, we were a threat.
“I think we created enough chances in the first half to be in front. Certainly we scored a goal, I don’t know how that wasn’t allowed. In the second half, it was about being patient, waiting for the right moments, they were just waiting for our mistake.
“They had 10 men behind the ball and then one occasion, when the ball is under no pressure, we tried to step in and that created the space and then they are through. After the 1-0, I think we have to play those moments better, there were too many free-kicks and we didn’t put the ball in the box enough.
“I think we gave some sloppy passes away [in the second half]. We started to lose some duels. You start to get a little bit frustrated because it’s really difficult to attack them in the spaces.
“You start to force some passes that you shouldn’t do against these blocks but still they didn’t have any threat. They didn’t have any shots on target or anything but they were waiting for one moment and credit to them, they’ve done it.”