Arteta bemoans key flaw making things ‘extremely difficult’ for Arsenal

Mikel Arteta Arsenal

Mikel Arteta admitted that Arsenal are finding it harder to win because of discipline issues, but is still proud of his players.

Arsenal lost their last chance to win a cup this season by falling at the semi-final stage to Liverpool in the Carabao Cup. After a 0-0 draw in the first leg, the return fixture ended 2-0 in Liverpool’s favour.

Already out of the FA Cup and with no European involvement this season, Arsenal now just have the Premier League to focus on for the rest of the campaign.

They have some issues to resolve if they are to achieve their ambitions there, too. Specifically, they need to stop the trend of getting players sent off.

Thomas Partey marked his return from the African Cup of Nations by being booked twice, and therefore red carded, after coming on as a substitute.

It followed Granit Xhaka being dismissed in the first leg and Gabriel Magalhaes seeing red in their most recent Premier League match, against Manchester City.

With the club already dealing with personnel issues due to AFCON, Covid and injuries, it is not helping.

Arteta saw a bigger picture against Liverpool, knowing that chance conversion was equally important as a factor. But he knows they need a full complement of players to compete against such sides.

Arteta reacts to Liverpool loss

Arteta told Sky Sports: “We are really disappointed but we played against a top side. We had big moments in both halves and we have to score.

“We had chances and were pushing for the game. But we have to convert if we were to beat a team like Liverpool.

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“We have played the last three games with 10 men and at this level it is extremely difficult to win like that.

“I am proud of the boys and how committed they were without any training sessions.”

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Klopp praises Liverpool match-winner

Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp thought the game was difficult for Liverpool until they took the sting out of Arsenal’s approach.

And he believes Diogo Jota has reached the next level with Liverpool and that the match-winning forward is “world-class”.

Klopp told Sky Sports: “The mood in the dressing room is over the moon.

“Difficult game, difficult time but the boys were exceptional. First half, Arsenal started lively, then we calmed it down, played good football and created plenty. Second half similar.

“We scored two wonderful goals, Diogo Jota on fire. We were completely convinced when he arrived at the club he would help us massively. Since he is here he has made another step, he has turned into a really world class striker.”

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