Mikel Arteta, Arsenal manager, on Saturday, vented his frustration after his team conceded two late goals to lose against Briton — handing them their second defeat since the restart of the English Premier League (EPL).
The Spanish boss saw his side take the lead on 68 minutes through a Nicolas Pepe curler from the edge of the box.
He however, endured watching helplessly as his ragtag defence shipped two soft goals. Lewis Dunk equalized on 75 minutes while Neal Maupay broke Arsenal’s hearts with the winner on 95 minutes, consigning the North London club to successive defeats in four days.
Arteta labelled the loss “unacceptable” while bemoaning wastage of chances created to increase the lead. He also fumed at the two avoidable goals conceded.
“I am very frustrated [by the defeat]. It is unacceptable the way we lost the game. We like competing and I know we have a young squad but still, we threw the game away. We had to put it to bed earlier.”
Bernd Leno, Arsenal’s impressive first choice goalkeeper, was stretchered off in the first half due to suspected knee injury after contact with Maupay, adding to the club’s list of injured players.
Arteta, though unhappy, however absolved the Brighton match winner of trying to injure his goalkeeper.
“It doesn’t look good but we don’t know anything yet. I always believe players don’t have intention to injure people and I am sure he did not intend to do that,” the former Man City assistant manager added.
Arsenal are languishing in mid table with the possibility of missing out on European football next season but Arteta, a rookie manager, is focused on project rebuild at the London club .
“We have to try to lift the players. There’s a lot of things they have done really well but we don’t compete. At this level you cannot give those sort of goals away,” said the 38-year-old.
“This is the challenge we all have at the football club, to rebuild to something that is worth the club we are representing.
“I just worry about tomorrow and lifting the players and winning the next football game.”
Arsenal lie in ninth position on the EPL table, six points and four places off a position to qualify for European football next season with eight matches still to play.