Mikel Arteta insisted that he saw enough passion from his Arsenal side for the outcome of the North London derby to have been different.
Arteta’s side probed for a way back into the game in the second half, but despite dominating possession, could not make any of their chances count.
Tottenham, on the other hand, had already shown how clinical they were. And while Arteta was content with Arsenal’s performance, he knew what made the difference between the two sides.
“This is football,” he told Sky Sports. “They scored a wonder goal and the second we got done on the break because Thomas Partey was not in position, he was injured.
“I saw a team full of passion, dominating the team and creating chances but in the end it is about the end product and that is why they are top of the table. I think we had 44 crosses.”
The result means Arsenal stay in the bottom half of the table, far down in 15th place. They have not won in the Premier League since November 1st.
Against Tottenham, Arteta was happy with his side’s attitude, but knows they are not doing enough to win games at the moment.
“The fight and the spirit and the way they played in this stadium is to applause but it is not enough to win football matches because we are not scoring goals.”
Arteta dissects Tottenham goals
As Arteta referenced, Tottenham’s second goal was made easier by Partey not being on the pitch.
The midfielder was returning from injury, but appeared to suffer another setback during the buildup to the goal. It forced him to leave the pitch as Tottenham were on the counter attack.
Arteta tried to get him back on the pitch, but it was too late.
“I wanted him on the pitch doing whatever he could for the team in that situation. Anyway he could not carry on playing,” Arteta explained, before reflecting on the first goal – a thunderous strike from Son Heung-min.
“Maybe we were a little too cautious with Son but it was a wonder goal. It is what they do really well, they did it once because the second we were a man down.”