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Mikel Arteta reacts as Arsenal suffer second league defeat of the season in disappointing away loss at Everton

A lone goal from James Tarkowski was the difference at Goodison Park as Arsenal return to the capital with zero points for the first time since early September in their away loss against Manchester United, with the club’s response in the coming weeks vital to their title challenge

Premier League leaders Arsenal suffered a considerable set-back on their travels away from the capital today after Mikel Arteta’s men return to north London empty-handed on the back of a 1-0 loss at Goodison Park against relegation-threatened Everton.

Former Burnley manager Sean Dyche, who only recently occupied the vacancy left on the blue half of Merseyside in the wake of Frank Lampard’s departure, gave the Toffees the desired managerial boost in what was his technical area debut for the club in a classic Dyche performance that so-often defined his spell at Turf Moor.

For Arsenal, it was familiar frustration against a manager that had made a habit of frustrating the Gunners in previous seasons, but additional implications and context surrounding the club’s season make it that much more detrimental given the club’s position at the top of the table, which could well be narrowed down to just two points should Manchester City dispatch Tottenham tomorrow in their clash at the Etihad Stadium.

But as the Gunners’ 13-match unbeaten run in the Premier League has come to an end, Arteta has urged love and focus moving forward as the club looks to get back on track in what is now a critical period of their season with direct title-winning implications.

When speaking during his post-match interview, Arteta showed his commitment to supporting his young side even when they are not at the races, while putting disappointment behind them as quickly as possible.

“We need to digest this one because it is important to digest, look in the mirror, and on Monday come to the training ground ready for a fight because Brentford will be tough. Now is a time to love the players more than the day before and the month before, because they fully deserve it. We will be next to them and prepare for Saturday.”

“The reality is that we should have done more to win the game. We put ourselves in many situations and we had to defend so many set pieces, and against this team, it is a very difficult thing to do. Then in terms of our possession, we opened them up in many, many situations and we got into the final third in great positions and we didn’t finish well enough.”

Up next for Arsenal, a tricky home clash against Brentford before a possible title decider when Man City comes to town in a rematch of the FA Cup fourth round that saw the Gunners narrowly lose 1-0 against a full-strength City. The title bout is well and truly on.

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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