Mikel Arteta has called for the urgent need to “look in the mirror” after their title hopes took a huge dent with a 4-1 humbling defeat at Etihad Stadium.
Manchester City reduced the gap to two points in fashion as Kevin De Bruyne found the target with two goals and an assist for John Stones’ header while Erling Haaland added a fourth after Rob Holding had pulled one back for the Gunners.
“Analysis is clear, the better team won the game, they were probably at their best, especially in the first half and we were nowhere near our level. When that happens, the gap becomes too big,” said Arteta.
“We wanted to tweak a few things but we were unable to execute. We have to be loyal to what has brought us all this way because we have done it in the past as well in different ways. It doesn’t guarantee you anything but it is time to look in the mirror as well at what we could have done better.’’ He added
Pep Guardiola’s side have two games in hand and could go past Arsenal should they continue to be outclassed, just like Arteta admits.
“In the first 30 minutes, all the basic things you have to do against an exceptional team in terms of competing, winning duals, understanding what the game requires, we didn’t do it and we got punished and we could have been punished even more.’’
“We played an exceptional team but we are an exceptional team too and today we were not at the races at the level required to win the game.
‘‘We lost today and we have to accept we lost in a very different way to at the Emirates. The quality of the performance today was very far between one team and the other.’’
Arsenal play a dilapidated Chelsea on May 2, 2023 and a win will ease pressure off Arteta’s shoulders despite City taking on Fulham a day prior.