Mikel Arteta admitted he was ‘so disappointed’ with Arsenal’s defeat to Aston Villa as he felt his side dominated the game and the better team lost.
Ollie Watkins’ early goal proved decisive for the 1-0 win at Villa Park – the Gunners’ second defeat in the West Midlands in five days.
Mikel Arteta remonstrates with the officials after Arsenal lost to Aston VillaGetty – Pool
Watkins put Villa ahead in the second minute with a deflected shot past Arsenal debutant Mat Ryan.
Former Gunners keeper Emiliano Martinez made good saves to keep out a Granit Xhaka free-kick in the first half and a Nicolas Pepe effort after the break.
Ryan also pulled off some decent stops, including one to deny Jack Grealish as Villa pushed for a second goal late in the game.
Substitute Martin Odegaard fired a good chance over the bar as Arsenal slipped to another loss, four days on from the 2-1 reverse at Wolves.
Watkins breached the Arsenal defence inside just two minutes at Villa ParkGetty Images – Getty
Although there was controversy surrounding the David Luiz red card at Molineux, Arteta claimed his side deserved to win this time around after ‘dominating’ the clash against the Villans.
“Yeah very disappointing not to win the game obviously,” he told talkSPORT. “But we gave them a goal and another three chances, we just gave them.
“It’s not as if they earned them, we just gave them to them. And then, in the opponent’s box, we have that amount of situations and chances and if you don’t score them, it is impossible to win the game.
“So incredible; dominating the whole game and dominating every single department that you have to dominate to beat this team, but you lose again.
The Gunners now sit tenth in the Premier League table – nine points off Liverpool in the Champions League placesGetty Images – Getty
“It’s a similar story with Wolves and it’s incredible it has happened two times in five days, but it is down to us.”
Luiz saw his appeal rejected for his challenge on Willian Jose, but the Gunners again felt as though chances went against them on Saturday.
Although Arteta refused to go into specifics, the Spaniard felt as though ‘many’ decisions went against his side and lamented the decisions by the officials.
He may have been referring to an incident involving Alexandre Lacazette and Martinez, which saw the Gunners striker penalised despite being hauled to the floor by his former teammate inside the Villa box.
Lacazette took to Twitter to voice his annoyance that he didn’t get a decision, saying in reply to a video: “Another one.”
— Alexandre Lacazette (@LacazetteAlex) February 6, 2021
“We just give the games away,” Arteta added. “When the opponent is better, just shake hands and let’s work on it.
“But when the team plays the way they played again today, you HAVE to win the game. It happened against Wolves – okay with the decision – today there were many other decisions that went against us.
“But still, with what you produced today, you have to win the game.”
As if to add further insult to injury, summer signing Thomas Partey limped off the field once again after enduring a frustrating start to his career in north London.
“He had a muscular issue,” Arteta confirmed. “He could not carry on playing.”
Thomas Partey limped off for the Gunners. The serverity of his injury isn’t known at this stageAFP