Mikel Arteta admitted that Arsenal did not stick together as a team in their defeat to Aston Villa, but hopes they can learn from it.
Arsenal suffered their first defeat in four games – and their fourth of the season so far – as Aston Villa claimed a 3-0 win at the Emirates Stadium.
It means Arsenal drop to 11th in the Premier League table, three points behind the team they lost to. They have lost as many games as they have won in the league so far.
Arteta admitted that Villa deserved to beat them, taking the blame for the defeat.
“First of all congratulations to Aston Villa for the way they played and the victory,” he told Sky Sports.
“After that, we performed below our standards and I have to say it’s the first time I’ve seen us play and we weren’t a team.
“I take full responsibility. We didn’t start well enough, we got away with VAR for an offside situation but we lost all the races, the duels and we were sloppy on the ball.
“When we created chances we didn’t hit the target. It’s a really bad combination. We left spaces and on the counter we looked really vulnerable.
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“I take full responsibility. I am responsible to make the team perform on the pitch and today we were not a team and it is my job. It is why I am standing here.
“It is a frustration. It takes a lot to build momentum, to build a way of being, living and performing and when something like that comes up it’s a hard one to take.
“But in a hard moment you learn more than in a positive moment and I want to see how we react.”
Smith says ‘more to come’ from Villa
Meanwhile, Dean Smith said that clean sheets have been pivotal to Aston Villa’s success on the road this season.
Having already thrashed league champions Liverpool this season, Villa claimed another impressive scalp by defeating Arsenal.
“It’s a really pleasing performance,” Smith told Sky Sports. “Lots of facets to it.
“It was a good defensive shift from the whole team. We caused them problems with some of our counter attacking.
“We didn’t want them to have a nice easy game where they could pass it where they wanted. They’re a good team.”
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