In the post-match press conference following Arsenal’s 1-0 win against Brighton, Goal’s Charles Watts asked boss Mikel Arteta what was said at halftime to spark a turnaround in the second-half.
Watts put it forward to Arteta that the difference in the side’s performance from the first to second half was ‘truly apparent’, before finding out what the former Gunners captain’s message was.
Arteta was disappointed with how the north London outfit ‘gave’ the ball ‘away’ poorly in the first-half, which led to half chances for Graham Potter’s side.
The Spaniard also noted that the Gunners were simply not good enough in attack, they couldn’t break down the Seagulls’ ‘block’, weren’t ‘efficient’ enough and didn’t show ‘enough purpose’.
Arteta stated that it was something he talked about ‘straight away’ when they headed back to the dressing room for the break, before adding that it clearly made things work ‘much better’.
Alexandre Lacazette hit the back of the net just 30 seconds after coming off the bench, following an inspired run from Bukayo Saka from the halfway line.
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Mikel Arteta broke down Arsenal’s issues in the first-half against Brighton and the message he relayed that spurred a massive improvement and led to the win vs Brighton… pic.twitter.com/nDl9V08Gcc
— CaughtOffside (@caughtoffside) December 29, 2020
“Well, we had two issues in the first-half.”
“First of all, the balls that we gave away were simple balls in our own half when we were open and then no real pressure, that’s why they generated one or two half situations (chances).”
“The second one, the way we attack against the block, we weren’t efficient enough, we didn’t have enough purpose.”
“We didn’t have the right intentions when the players around the ball – with the movement and the situation that we wanted to create – we talked about it and straight away it worked much better.”
The side’s lack of intensity in the opening period was one of the key things that some fans picked up on at halftime as well, the Gunners just didn’t show much intent and were left on the back foot as a result.
Arsenal have now reeled off back-to-back wins after a disastrous run, can this side go on to mount a serious challenge for a Europa League spot now – the Champions League seems to be out of their reach after such a dire string of results before but anything’s possible we guess?