Mikel Arteta said Arsenal “gave away two points” after a late goal from John Fleck earned Sheffield United a 1-1 draw at Emirates Stadium and bemoaned a shortage of defenders.
Gabriel Martinelli put the Gunners ahead with his ninth goal of the season at the end of the first half on Saturday and Arsenal continued to dominate the game until the last 10 minutes.
Yet Arteta could only watch on as Callum Robinson’s cross found Fleck, who rifled home an equaliser his side barely deserved.
“I am very disappointed. We gave away two points,” Gunners head coach Arteta said.
“There is a history of giving away goals. In the Premier League when you’re 1-0 up anything can happen.
“I think they all went full gas and tried really hard. Maybe in the first five minutes we tried to figure out the game but later they changed system and it was harder to control.”
With Kieran Tierney and Calum Chambers injured, Arteta selected Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Bukayo Saka and admitted the shortcomings of his two makeshift full-backs were exposed for the equaliser.
“When we analyse the opponent we can try to ask Ainsley and Bukayo a lot of things but they are not full-backs,” Arteta added.
“These things will happen.”
That late equaliser feeling pic.twitter.com/4vJoQi6d27
— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) January 18, 2020
Chris Wilder admitted his side were short of their best but gave them credit for salvaging a point that leaves the seventh-placed Blades with just two defeats in 12 Premier League away games this season.
Only Manchester City and Liverpool have beaten Wilder’s men on the road, but he reflected on a tough game at the Emirates, saying: “It was one of our poorer performances. Nobody built up momentum in the game because both sides gave away the ball.
“Not surprised we went in behind but I’m pleased we got a point. Our attitude always gives us a chance so credit to the players but we need to play better.
“We had a lot of apprehension coming into the division but we have a group that challenges each other. I think it’s a really good story with where our players have come from and the key is to turn that into a fantastic story.”
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