Michael Carrick admits Manchester United’s performance at Arsenal “just wasn’t good enough” but the midfielder hopes it was a “one-off”.
United were blown away by the Gunners inside the opening 20 minutes at the Emirates, with Alexis Sanchez’s brace and a Mesut Ozil strike killing off Louis van Gaal’s shellshocked side.
The visitors improved after the break but they failed to stretch Petr Cech, who was only really tested when he had to block Anthony Martial’s shot from close range just before half-time.
“We just didn’t start well enough, or quick enough, and conceded goals,” Carrick told MUTV. “When you concede goals at this level then it makes it difficult to come back. I think we improved as the game went on, but it just wasn’t good enough from us.
“We are bitterly disappointed and will probably beat ourselves up about it over the next few weeks, but we’ll come back looking at the bigger picture. It’s a setback, but we’re still up there and just need to take this one on the chin, take whatever criticism comes our way and come back stronger.
“It was certainly a bad day. But as players and coaching staff we’ll analyse it and come back better.”
Carrick was keen to keep the defeat in perspective and emphasised that the performance was not typical of United’s form during their ascent to the Premier League summit.
“I am hoping it’s a one-off, as there’s been no sign of that recently,” he said. “We’ve been pretty good consistently, which is why we’re in the position in the table. We’ve had a decent start to the season. We have got plenty of time to put this right and there’s still a long way to go.
“We just gave them a bit too much space and they played well and it came off for them. We did too many things wrong; you could go on forever talking about why things didn’t work, but we just didn’t start well enough, conceded the goals and gave ourselves too much to do.
“In the second half we came out believing that we could get one goal and that get ourselves back in the game. It was a big ask, to score three, but if Martial’s chance had gone in just before half-time it gives us a better chance, but it was a good save. Second half we came out and were better, but we didn’t score and the longer it went, it was pretty much game over.
“We want to bounce back and we are going to have to wait a while to do that. The last international break came after the Swansea game, so we’ve just got to go away, refresh and come back stronger again.”