Every word Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said on Emile Smith Rowe’s goal and Man United defeat – .

Every word Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said on Emile Smith Rowe’s goal and Man United defeat – .

There have been some controversial decisions tonight, what do you think?
I have not seen the images so cannot comment. But the decisions were made, VAR checked them all and I hope they were the right decisions.
How disappointed were you not to continue after your return to 2-2?
Well we scored the first one and then we had full control of the game. We started distributing very simple balls in dangerous areas, which opened up spaces for them and gave them momentum. We had some difficulties there and we conceded the goal. The second half, we still had some difficulties. We had total control, we conceded the goal, but we reacted well and kept playing and we dominated the game and we scored the second. Then you have to show maturity not to concede the third. At that point, we didn’t handle the situation well enough and we conceded the goal. So I’m happy with a lot of things I’ve seen but to be realistic, conceding three goals at Old Trafford is very hard to win the game.

Did you see what happened in the preparation for the first goal (Smith Rowe’s goal where De Gea was injured)?
No. We didn’t know what to expect. I was talking to the fourth official and they allowed the goal, but I didn’t see the picture again.

Martinelli looked brilliant tonight. Does he play well?
He looked like a threat. He had a big, big chance in the first half and probably should have put it at home. He created the assists, he worked really hard and had a great time. He looked like a threat.

You said your team played with the handbrake in the past. Were you disappointed that your team didn’t score that second goal?
No, I think we were careless in possession. We gave the ball to the opponent when we had no pressure there and it creates the pressure, it gives momentum. We had a structure to play and suddenly we started to give the ball. We’ve had so many unforced errors and it leads them to believe that they can do something in the game. I haven’t seen a team with a handbrake, I have seen a team that wanted to play here. They were dominating with the right structure and the right freedom at the same time, but we didn’t defend our box well enough at the right times and handle some situations well enough to concede like we did.

You talked about how the kids played well. Do you think senior players need to step up a bit?
This is obviously the balance we need. This balance is fair. Senior players should lead and younger players should follow.

How do you plan to keep your players from falling back after taking the lead because it’s not the first time this has happened this season?
Well it’s very difficult because when you’re on the ball you have to make decisions and I want to encourage them to play freely what they feel. But you know, against these teams you are immediately punished by the quality and the number of players that they can play here immediately.

What was the idea behind the decision to play Elneny against Sambi Lokonga?
That I think we need a player like him with the experience that has played here in this arena, it was amazingly good last year when he played here as well. The way he trained, the way he plays and because I think sometimes we have to do difficult things for the game.


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