Arteta: Arsenal deserved more

“I’m very disappointed today. I think the performance deserved three points and I think we lost two points”

Last Updated: 18/01/20 11:45pm

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Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta praises his side for their effort and commitment during their draw with Sheffield United
Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta praises his side for their effort and commitment during their draw with Sheffield United

Mikel Arteta was left professing his disappointment after seeing his Arsenal side concede a late equaliser at home to Sheffield United.

Gabriel Martinelli’s goal on the stroke of half-time appeared to have put the Gunners on course for a vital victory – only for John Fleck to strike with seven minutes remaining and secure a 1-1 draw.

The result leaves Arteta’s side four points adrift of the Blades as they continue to struggle for a run of form following the Spaniard’s appointment in December.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Arsenal’s draw with Sheffield United in the Premier League
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Arsenal’s draw with Sheffield United in the Premier League

“I’m very disappointed today,” Arteta said. “I think the performance deserved three points and I think we lost two points.

“In the Premier League, if you don’t put the game to bed then in the last 10 or 15 minutes this type of team just need a long ball, a second ball, a set-piece, and you can give the points away. That’s it.”

“The circumstances are changing daily because we keep getting more and more injuries and suspensions. We are there, we are in the market and we are looking for options that could improve us and give us more stability in certain areas, but it’s early to tell anything.”

Mikel Arteta on the January transfer window

Arteta’s praise for Martinelli

Arsenal goalscorer Gabriel Martinelli celebrates Nicolas Pepe
Arsenal goalscorer Gabriel Martinelli celebrates Nicolas Pepe

Arteta was, however, full of praise for Martinelli after the 18-year-old hit his ninth Arsenal goal in what was just his 10th start for the club he joined last summer.

The Brazilian was chosen to replace suspended captain and top goalscorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and missed a couple of chances before putting Arsenal ahead.

Aubameyang, watching from the stands, tweeted that Martinelli is destined to be a “superstar” and Arteta was also left impressed.

Martinelli makes it 1-0 to Arsenal
Martinelli makes it 1-0 to Arsenal

“He’s an 18-year-old kid with all the enthusiasm but as well, he’s so brave to make decisions, to threaten the opponent every time,” he added. “He’s all the time in the middle of the goal, waiting for an opportunity to come.

“The fact he hasn’t played 90 minutes for a while – since an injury – but is still in the way he went about every single action is impressive.”

Arteta also bemoaned a VAR decision not to award his side a second-half penalty but he will know his side need to improve if they are to win at London rivals Chelsea on Tuesday night.

Wilder: We were not at our best

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Chris Wilder was unimpressed with Sheffield United’s performance despite claiming a point at Arsenal
Chris Wilder was unimpressed with Sheffield United’s performance despite claiming a point at Arsenal

Meanwhile, Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder felt his team had not been at the races for much of the contest.

After seeing United rescue a point to remain seventh, Wilder echoed the sentiment of Arteta as Arsenal left the door open for them to come back and secure a point.

“I don’t think we were anywhere near our best today,” he said.

“The result is better than the performance, the game was not put to bed by the opposition.

“When teams don’t put you to bed, we have an opportunity to get something from the game. We need to play a lot better than that for us to regularly pick up points.”

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Source : Sky Sports