Ex-Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna admits Manchester City’s defeat at his former club was “hard to take”.
Goals from Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud condemned City to a 2-1 defeat at the Emirates stadium, with Yaya Toure pulling one back for the visitors late on.
And Sagna – who made 286 appearances for the Gunners over a seven-year spell – suggests the result was somewhat harsh on his new club.
“It’s hard to take, I think we started the game really well, we had possession of the ball, and on their first shot they scored,” he told the club’s official website.
“So it was a bit against the game but we had to keep going to defend well as a team and we conceded before half time. So it makes it difficult against a quality team. Now we have to keep our heads up because they are creating a gap.
“We have to keep the head up, keep working hard and bounce back in the next game.”
Moments before Walcott’s stunning opener, Kevin de Bruyne had a great opportunity to open the scoring for City but shot wide when he could have squared the ball to an unmarked David Silva.
Right-back Sagna – making his first appearance against his old club – admits that was a turning point.
“It was vital to score because I know this team quite well. I think we played quite well in general, of course we conceded some chances, but apart from that we could have scored before they did,” he added.
“It’s not a blow personally, I want to keep working hard, I want to fight to the end because we have many games to catch up, of course we have a gap now but as I said the league is going to be very long. We have to play them at home, we have to play Leicester so we have to keep the head up keep working and keep sticking together.”
City have now failed to win their last five matches away from home in the Premier League, and when asked what the need to improve their fortunes, Sagna replied: “A bit of luck and a bit of quality going forward and defending.
“We conceded two goals and as a defender I can’t be happy about that. But we need to communicate a bit more, to focus a bit more and to stick together as team a bit more and I think it will be okay.”
And Sagna’s boss Manuel Pellegrini agrees with the France international that the result was harsh on the visitors.
“It’s not a significant defeat because we have to play for many more points. But of course it was important to try to win,” he said.
“I think we didn’t deserve to lose I think we did better than Arsenal, we had more possession, more attempts, more shots at target. Unfortunately we made an important mistake for their second goal.
“I’m very happy with the character and personality of the team because we never give up. We demonstrated character by continuing to try and score when we were losing 2-0.”