Mikel Arteta cited Arsenal’s ‘fatigue, as well as a lack of sharpness and ‘purpose’ on the ball as a key factor in Sunday night’s defeat to Leicester.
The Gunners absolutely dominated the first-half, with 11 shots to the Foxes’ one, but looked poor in the second-half, especially after David Luiz was forced off with an injury.
Arsenal paid for their lack of intent in the second period when Jamie Vardy scored the decisive goal in the 79th minute, which also highlighted an alarming lack of understanding between the defenders.
Arteta also suggested that the north London outfit need to be much more clinical, adding that this is an ‘aspect’ that Arsenal ‘have to improve’ on.
Mikel Arteta on Arsenal's sloppy second-half performance that ultimately led to Leicester winning… pic.twitter.com/KYAQQzjQES
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“I think fatigue had a say there as well, we didn’t look as sharp on the ball, we didn’t have much purpose on the ball to create.”
“David (Luiz) was giving us something different when we had to attack these low blocks, with his ability to attack this line and provoke and always thread them in behind, we lacked that a little bit in the second-half.”
“Still, credit to them, they are really organised when they do that, it was really difficult to create the chances, we created a really good one with Hector (Bellerin) and we didn’t convert.”
“That’s the difference in the end, in the boxes what we’re able to do, certainly it’s an aspect that we have to improve.”
Arteta circled back to the importance of David Luiz to the side’s attacking play at several points during the post-match press conference, with the centre-back offering a different threat.
The Spaniard’s point on ‘fatigue’ is probably a stark reminder that the Gunners need to seriously rethink their Europa League lineups in the future, as it clearly had an effect on a key league game this week.