‘Arsenal under no pressure

Mikel Arteta refused to blame the pressure of the title race on Arsenal throwing away a 2-0 lead at West Ham as Man. City tightened their grip on the main prize.

Arsenal were awarded a penalty at 2-1 up just after half-time for Michail Antonio’s handball, only for Bukayo Saka to uncharacter­istically put his effort wide. That proved even more costly when West Ham equalised two minutes later through Jarrod Bowen’s smart finish.

When asked if the pressure was getting to his side, who have now dropped points in their last two games, Arteta said: “When I see a team playing with that flow [at the start of the game], that’s not pressure. At 2-0 we were not under pressure. We just didn’t do what the game required in that moment.

“We could not control what West Ham was proposing [after the first goal]. If you concede two or three goals away from home, it is very difficult to win football matches. We have to blame our­selves with how we played in our boxes.”

It was the second game in a row that the Gunners had thrown away a 2-0 lead having drawn 2-2 with Liverpool last Sunday.

Arteta was asked if fatigue was to blame for their second half collapses.

He said: “Fatigue-wise? No. What we produced in the first and second half against Liverpool was similar, and today we put a higher input in the second half that we did in the first half. We were slower in everything that we did. I don’t think the team is fatigued or looked fatigued. The best way to do it is convince them how good they are and do what they have to do.

“We started extremely well again, dominated the game all over the pitch and scored two beautiful goals. After that we made a huge mistake, we stopped playing with the same purpose to score the third and the fourth one.”


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