Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta conceded the Gunners were not good enough as they suffered stoppage-time heartbreak against Everton in the Premier League.
Arteta’s Arsenal suffered their third defeat in four Premier League matches after Demarai Gray’s stunning individual effort saw the hosts snatch a dramatic 92nd-minute victory.
Martin Odegaard had given the visitors a half-time lead with his neat volley from Kieran Tierney’s cross at Goodison Park.
Arsenal were made to rue their failure to convert their winning position, as Richarlison equalised before Gray completed the turnaround in the second minute of stoppage time.
Arteta felt his players were punished for their lack of game management after succumbing to three consecutive league defeats to Everton for the first time since 1986.
“In the first half, we were very inconsistent with the ball,” Arteta told Sky Sports. “I didn’t like it. [We had] no penetration; one of the few times we did it, we scored.
“Second half, we tried to do more of those things, created four big chances, but conceded a very sloppy goal when you need to manage the game.
“I think the team tried to keep going, we kept pressing high. We lost a few important duels that put us some pressure.”
“What I want is more from my team. Today, you have the game under control even though you’re not playing your best, and you have to find a way to win it.
“It could have been very different, but we haven’t managed to do it. When the opponent is there for the taking, you have to do it, and we haven’t. It wasn’t good enough.”
9 – Each of Arsenal’s last nine Premier League goals have been scored by players aged 23 or younger, their longest ever such run in the competition (excluding own goals). Youthful. pic.twitter.com/E4pQTysNxw
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 6, 2021
Odegaard concurred with Arteta that seventh-placed Arsenal must significantly improve their performance levels.
Former Real Madrid midfielder Odegaard was one of Arsenal’s better performers on Merseyside; registering game-high tallies of four key passes and three shots on goal.
Odegaard’s goal was the ninth consecutively scored by Arsenal in the Premier League by a player aged 23 or younger, their longest such run in Premier League history.
He also became the youngest Norwegian (22 years, 354 days) to score in back-to-back Premier League appearances since John Arne Riise in August 2002 for Liverpool (21 years, 328 days).
“It’s a hard one to take. I think in general, we were not at the level we needed to be at today,” he said. “We had some good moments, but we have to do much better. We should have been better.
“It’s hard to say exactly what happened. We have to do better when we have that lead. We stopped playing and gave them the game they wanted to play.
“I think it is [a mindset problem]. When you’re leading 1-0, you get afraid to lose the win and, in my opinion, that’s what we did wrong today.
“You go for the second goal and that was the intention, but we didn’t manage to do that on the pitch.”
Arsenal have lost consecutive Premier League matches when scoring the first goal in each match, the first time they have done that since December 2016, with one of those defeats also a 2-1 loss against Everton at Goodison Park – the other was a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City.
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