Arteta blames Liverpool for collapse as Arsenal manager takes responsibility, congratulates City
Mikel Arteta reckons Arsenal started their spiral against Liverpool after their defeat to Nottingham Forest confirmed Manchester City as champions.
Arsenal were deservedly beaten at The City Ground as Nottingham Forest confirmed their Premier League survival through Taiwo Awoniyi’s first-half goal.
The result also made Manchester City’s third consecutive title certain, with Pep Guardiola’s side four points ahead of the Gunners, who only have one game remaining.
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Arsenal have set a new record for most days spent as leader of the English top flight in a single season without winning it (248), squandering a five-point lead over Manchester City with equal games played in early April.
Arteta feels that the 2-2 draw with Liverpool, in a game which Arsenal led 2-0 after 28 minutes, was the turning point; the Gunners have conceded 16 goals in an eight-match run starting with that second-half collapse at Anfield.
But the Spaniard first doffed his cap to former club Manchester City, while praising an excellent Forest performance.
“First of all congratulations to Manchester City for winning the championship but it is a sad day for us,” the manager said.
“Now we have to face the reality, today we gave a goal away and we were not good enough to break them down. We could play for three hours and we would not have done it.
“It is my responsibility and I take it. When it is beautiful, great, when it isn’t, that is sport.
“The number of goals we have given to the opponents recently has cost us but we can’t put the guilt on someone. We should have been better as a team and in the last few weeks we have fallen short.
“It started with what happened at Anfield. We have conceded a lot of goals. We have given 16 goals away in those matches. You cannot sustain that. There are no margins.
“This is football. It is a very sad day, we have been working for 11 months with that aim and have been on top for so many days. We have competed but we didn’t have enough.
“Now we must heal. It is very painful. I have to find a way to lift the players and we have a tough week ahead of us.”
Aaron Ramsdale weighed in by summing up the mood of the dressing room.
“The dust won’t settle until the summer,” said the goalkeeper. “We are very disappointed how it has happened but we are proud we pushed all the way.
“One team in six seasons has beaten Manchester City to the title. But it was our own doing, individual errors in games we should have won. We were in a position to win those games.
“Credit to Forest, they were fighting for their lives. We knew the type of game it would be. We just couldn’t break them down. We lacked that magic moment and we got punished on the counter attack.
“We pushed and pushed but couldn’t break through them.”
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