Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta admitted an “exceptional” Liverpool were better in every area of the pitch and said his side’s performance was “unacceptable”, though accepted all of the blame himself after his side’s 3-0 Premier League defeat at the Emirates.
The Gunners were offered a brutal reminder as to where they stand as top-four chasing Liverpool, still the reigning champions for a few weeks yet, outperformed them throughout the 90 minutes.
Missing the likes of Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka, David Luiz and Granit Xhaka, Arsenal served up a dire performance in which they had just three shots all match and sat back and invited pressure which they ultimately could not deal with.
And they were handed the added blow of losing first-choice left-back Kieran Tierney to injury in the first half ahead of Thursday’s crunch Europa League quarter-final first leg against Slavia Prague at the Emirates.
Arteta said: “Very much [disappointed]. We completely deserved to lose the game. They were better in every department.
“They deserved to win the game with the margin they had, or more. Unacceptable from our side, the way we played today.
“They were much better than us in every department, they won every duel, every second ball, every challenge. They were brave when they had the ball and made the right decisions, we didn’t.
“It’s my fault. The team have to perform in a different way. I’m prepared to take it. Congratulations to Liverpool because I think they were exceptional today.”
Defeat leaves Arsenal ninth and at risk of slipping to 10th with Aston Villa just one point behind and having played two matches less. The north London club are also four points adrift of eighth-placed Everton, who similarly have two games in hand.
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