Premier League • England

Martin Odegaard haunted by ‘terrible’ Arsenal defeat, sends message to fans

Martin Odegaard has called Arsenal’s surprise defeat to Crystal Palace ‘terrible’ and issued an apology to the club’s fans.

The Gunners had the chance to leapfrog rivals Tottenham and go back into the top four with a victory at Selhurst Park. But they were outclassed by Patrick Vieira’s men, losing 3-0.

Jean-Philippe Mateta gave Palace the lead in the 16th minute by heading past Aaron Ramsdale after Arsenal failed to deal with a free-kick.

Jordan Ayew doubled the Eagles’ advantage soon afterwards. He was found by a piercing Joachim Andersen pass and proceeded to find the bottom corner.

Odegaard should have given Arsenal a route back into the game in the second half. He had space in the box, only to send his left-footed effort wide.

Martin Odegaard partly to blame for defeat

Odegaard was at fault again later on when he brought Wilfried Zaha down for a penalty. The attacker stepped up to make it 3-0, ensuring all the spoils remained in south London.

The result leaves Arsenal in fifth place and behind Spurs on goal difference. They do have a game in hand, although there is now huge pressure on Mikel Arteta’s men to win that match.

Reacting to the loss, Odegaard said: “It was a terrible game from us from start to finish. Maybe a bit better in the last 10 minutes, but in general I think it was a really bad performance.

Martin Odegaard battles Jeffrey Schlupp

“We should have done much better, but there is no time to feel sorry for ourselves. We have to get back to work and think about the next game already.

“This is tough but we have to look forward. We have to learn from it obviously. We have to look at the game, what we did wrong, and make sure it won’t happen again.”

Odegaard also spoke about the Arsenal supporters, who endured a torrid day. “I think the fans were again brilliant here, cheering us on and I feel sorry for them,” the attacking midfielder added.

“We have to apologise and we have got to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Hopefully next game we are back with a win.”

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