Mikel Arteta insisted Arsenal’s performance against Brighton and Hove Albion in the EFL Cup did not warrant defeat as he bemoaned their failures in front of goal.
The Gunners were eliminated from the third round of the EFL Cup for just the second time in their last 20 appearances after Brighton responded to Eddie Nketiah’s opener with three unanswered goals.
Danny Welbeck’s penalty restored parity in the first half before strikes from Kaouro Mitoma and Tariq Lamptey sealed a 3-1 victory at Emirates Stadium, where Brighton have won three of their last four.
Despite a comfortable defeat to Roberto Di Zerbi’s Seagulls on Wednesday, Arteta suggested the Premier League leaders did not deserve to lose for a first time at home in nine games.
“The view is that the result doesn’t reflect what happened on the pitch, I think it’s clear,” the Arsenal manager said.
“In moments where we were clearly on top of the game, we didn’t take our opportunities.”
Arsenal debutant Karl Hein, a 20-year-old Estonian who joined in 2018, was at fault for Brighton’s equaliser as he slipped before rushing out to fell former Gunner Welbeck.
The striker converted his spot-kick to become the first player to score at Emirates Stadium with four different clubs (Manchester United, Arsenal, Watford and Brighton), though Arteta refused to blame Hein.
4 – Danny Welbeck is the first player to score at Arsenal’s Emirates stadium with four different clubs (Man Utd, Arsenal, Watford & Brighton). Array. pic.twitter.com/kV1S7LjxW6
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 9, 2022
“I think he deserves the chance. He’s the first goalkeeper for his national team and at his age that’s not usual,” the Spaniard added.
“If I have to play him tomorrow again I would. Errors are part of football.”
Another fringe player to come under criticism was Fabio Vieira, who is yet to shine after his move from Porto last transfer window, but Arteta acknowledged the midfielder will take time to adjust.
“I think in front of goal he’s been unlucky but every player needs time to adapt. I’m not worried at all,” Arteta said.
Arsenal visit Wolves in their final Premier League outing before the World Cup break and will soon have to consider the January transfer window, where Arteta suggested his side could be active.
He added: “That’s a window that is open and we’ll have to discuss the opportunities that we have and be on the market for opportunities.”
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