Mikel Arteta he complained about the fact Arsenal side conceded two “bad” goals Europa League to draw Sporting Lisbon.
gunmen Came from behind to draw 2-2 Arteta remains at the top of the Premier League by five points after making six changes to the team that took a last-ditch win against Bournemouth on Saturday.
Arsenal were leading in a William Saliba header, but goals from Goncalo Inacio and Paulinho at halftime put Sporting in the driver’s seat.
Hidemasa Morita’s own goal secured a draw to return to the Emirates Stadium for next week’s second game, where the visitors hope to advance to the quarter-finals.
Inacio’s leveling goal was Arsenal’s fourth-ever corner conceded since the World Cup, and they are now nine seconds after kick-off against Cherries, in addition to scoring five set-piece goals in 10 games.
“If you concede two bad goals as we did away in Europe, it’s very difficult to get a positive result,” said Arteta.
“The game had different phases because we gave too many simple balls on our own court and gave them the capacity to (exploit) the transition moments that they were good at.
“At other moments we were in full control of the game and today we lost some threats, especially with the four players we were missing on the front line.
“Some positive things because we put up a lot of resistance to get back in the game, but we have to defend our box much better and be better on Sunday.”
Arteta explained that Arsenal’s way of accepting was discussed, specifically going for a knockout draw.
“We talked about the importance of boxes, especially when you’re at a competition, indoors or out,” he added.
“We didn’t defend that well today and we have to be better at threatening opponents as well. But of course you have an opponent there.
“We’ve been playing really emotional games lately. We’ve made a lot of changes today, and sometimes it takes time to achieve that alignment. In the first 15 minutes, you may feel like it needs some time to adjust and click. But if we don’t expose them, that will never happen.”
Sporting boss Ruben Amorim spoke about Arsenal’s quality on the eve of the competition, but felt that after a strong show his side could put themselves in a better position to advance to the quarter-finals.
“If you ask any Sporting fans before the game if the draw is a good result, they will say ‘yes’,” he said.
Now if we count the 90 minutes, some will be disappointed. Our players were very smart, we had the quality while we were holding the ball and we created positions.
“I would say we could have won the game today. We could have scored a 3-1 goal and then conceded the second goal.”