Mikel Arteta admits lack of efficiency killed Arsenal as they should have scored ‘two or three’

Mikel Arteta, Arsenal, November 2022 Credit: Alamy
Mikel Arteta, Arsenal, November 2022 Credit: Alamy

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta admitted he felt a lack of efficiency killed his side, as they lost to Brighton in the League Cup third round.

The Gunners came into the League Cup tie in good form. Indeed, Arteta’s side had won the last three games in all competitions, having scored seven goals in those wins.

Their Premier League form has been something to behold this season. They have lost just once in the league, sitting two points clear at the top of the table.

However, changes from the usual side were made, as is the norm in early rounds of the cup.

William Saliba was Arsenal‘s only remaining player from Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Chelsea, with Arteta opting for 10 changes.

The ringing of changes did not look too bad of an idea early on, as Eddie Nketiah – making his seventh start of the season – opened the scoring in the 20th minute.

Former Gunner Danny Welbeck pulled a goal back for Brighton just seven minutes later. Things got worse for Arsenal early in the second half, as Kaoru Mitoma scored Brighton’s second.

Arteta’s eagerness not to go down without a fight was evident in the changes he made. Indeed, he brought on big guns Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli among his late substitutes.

However, the changes made little difference, as Tariq Lamptey put the nail in Arsenal’s coffin, scoring the third in Brighton’s 3-1 win, and ultimately knocking the Gunners out.

It’s the first time the north London outfit have failed to get past the third round of the League Cup since 2014/15, when they lost to Southampton.

Arsenal should have scored ‘two or three’

Arsenal had 23 shots, but only four of those were on target. Arteta felt it was that lack of efficiency that let his side down.

“There was a big difference between efficiency in both areas and we paid a big price for it,” he said via BBC Sport.

“It’s a shame for the boys because I think they really tried and we should have scored two or three in the second half.”

While he felt his side could have been better in front of goal, the manager backed the players who he picked.

“I would select the same players if I had the opportunity again,” he said.

Gunners can focus on league form

Of course, Arsenal would have wanted to do well in the competition. However, the fact they are now out gives them a better opportunity to focus on the league.

They will want to maintain their position at the top of the table for as long as possible.

At least now they will have longer breaks between games than some of their rivals, working in their favour.

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