Mikel Arteta has admitted that Arsenal showed a lack of “maturity” during their 3-2 defeat to Manchester United on Thursday night.
In an entertaining game at Old Trafford the Gunners took the lead and later drew level 2-2 in the second half, before ultimately coming away with nothing.
A Cristiano Ronaldo penalty gave the hosts three points twenty minutes from time with Martin Odegaard’s unnecessary sliding challenge proving Arsenal’s undoing.
Speaking at full-time, Arteta insisted that his side could have easily gained something from the game.
“Well, we scored the first one and after that we had total control of the game. We started to give some very simple balls away in very dangerous areas that opened some spaces for them, and gave them some momentum,” he said.
“We had some difficulties there, (and we) we conceded the goal. The second half I think we started really well again – we had total control, we concede the goal and we reacted really well, we kept playing, and we were dominant in the game.
“We scored the second one, and then after that we have to go and show the maturity to going and score the third one.
“In that moment we did not manage well enough that situation, and we conceded the goal. So, I’m pleased with a lot of things that I saw, but being realistic (after) conceding three goals at Old Trafford, it’s very tricky to get something out of the game.”
Arteta went on to bemoan the amount of mistakes his side made throughout the 90 minutes.
“I think we were sloppy in possession. We gave the ball away to the opponent, and we had no pressure there,” he said.
“That created strong momentum that allowed them to run, and they had the structure to play – and suddenly we started to give the ball away. So many unforced errors that led to them having belief that they could do something in the game.
“I didn’t see a team with the handbrake, I saw a team that wanted to impose (themselves) here. They were dominant, we played with the right structure and the right freedom at the same time.
“But we didn’t defend our box well enough well, and manage some situations well enough to concede the way did.”
The result leaves Arsenal fifth in the Premier League table, well-positioned in the chasing pack looking to secure the final Champions League place this season.
Next up for the Gunners is a trip to Merseyside to take on struggling Everton on Monday.