Arsenal vice captain Per Mertesacker says last night’s performance was unsatisfactory, and admits the side lacked focus at the crucial moments. It was a breathless 5 goal encounter at the Emirates, with the sides exchanging goals in a matter of minutes at one point.
Arsenal had their chances to win, but this match was unfortunately marred by a gaffe from goalkeeper David Ospina. Mertesacker was keen to shift the blame to the team on a whole though, saying the side lacked discipline and concentration.
“First of all, we are disappointed because we started quite well, especially on the break after they had set-pieces,” he told the official Arsenal website.
“We lacked that concentration and it is not understandable why we drifted and did not do the job we are used to doing. That is not acceptable and we will be punished [for that] in the Champions League.”
“We need to get behind the ball and play better defensively. We lacked discipline, even when you get a goal back don’t rush yourself. Get your discipline back and with possession you get your chances. If we are not disciplined and do not chase the ball we have got no chance.”
He continued, saying the focus must be switched to Saturday’s Premier League clash with Man United.
“We have got a couple of days to look back on that performance. I think everyone will have regrets and it is good to take that away.”
“It will take a couple of days to recover and to think about Manchester United and play in a different competition, which will be a good opportunity to come back to the Emirates and play our football with possession and dynamism.”
Sensible from Per, and a fair and honest assessment. Like he said, Saturday is the focus now, and Arsenal must put to rest the demons from yesterday if they are to recover.