Arsenal were unceremoniously dumped out of the FA Cup by Liverpool reserves last night, leaving just the Premier League and the Champions League as their only focus for the second half of the season.
In the first half, Arsenal showed promise against the Reds, missing several good chances, including opportunities for Kai Havertz and Bukayo Saka. Despite their efforts, the score remained 0-0 at halftime.
Liverpool weathered Arsenal’s attacks and took the lead with a late own goal by Jakub Kiwior. The game intensified as Arsenal tried to get back into the match but left themselves vulnerable defensively.
In the final moments, Luis Diaz scored a second goal for Liverpool during a counterattack, ending Arsenal’s run in this season’s FA Cup after the first match, and Arteta made it very clear why the Gunners failed to get past the first hurdle when he said simply: “Because the ball didn’t go in the net.”
“We didn’t take the chances, I haven’t seen any other team in the first six months that have generated what we have done against them in the last two games and we’re not capitalising – not today, in the last few games – that’s why we are not winning games.
“Performance-wise, merit-wise, there is no question, but to win the game actually the results say something very different. When my team plays with that attitude, with that courage, with that desire and do what they’ve done to probably the best team in Europe at the moment in terms of momentum, what can I do? Stay behind them and support them.”
The current situation has raised concerns for Arsenal, as fans are puzzled by the unexpected defeat to a seemingly weakened Liverpool side on home turf, but the reasons were clear that goals have become nearly impossible to find lately.
The boss was also asked if this profligacy in front of goal was becoming a psychological problem, and he agreed: “It probably has, especially after today, more than it was against Fulham, more than it was against West Ham.
“That’s why we need to reset; the break comes at a good time because they are going to feel how we feel, how I feel about them very clearly in difficult moments, not when things are going well. Hopefully they can see from many other people that they jump on the train when things go well so when things are more difficult let’s see where they stand.”
It certainly appears that Arteta believes that we now have a big problem with our mentality at the moment, but the question is; why has our confidence dipped so badly recently?
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