Our Reporter, Abuja
Arsenal Manager, Mikel Arteta, said his team “deserved a slap.”
An upset Arteta said this after Arsenal blew a great chance of maintaining a tight hold on the fourth position on the Premier League table by falling to a 1-2 defeat at home to Brighton over the weekend.
The away club had not won in seven games before their game at the Emirates on Saturday.
But once the game kicked off, it was not difficult to see that Brighton showed they wanted it more than their hosts who had succumbed to a surprising 3-0 defeat earlier in the week at Crystal Palace.
Leandro Trossard put Brighton ahead midway in the first half with a curling effort after after a dazzling wing play by Enoch Mwepu on the right.
Arsenal thought they had levelled the match on the stroke of half-time but after a lengthy VAR check, what would have been a Gabriel Martinelli equalizer was ruled out for offside.
On resumption for the second half, Arsenal were again shocked when the superb Mwepu fired past Aaron Ramsdale in Arsenal’s goal to silence the Emirates crowd.
Although Martin Odegard did pull one goal back for Arsenal at the death with a looping effort, it only proved to be a mere consolation.
Reacting after the game, Arteta admitted to his team’s dispirited performance and said they “deserved a slap.
“It has been a tough week; especially today because we wanted a reaction (to the defeat at Crystal Palace),” Arteta said.
With Tottenham smashing Aston Villa four-nil away later on Saturday, Arsenal’s chances of qualifying for Champions League appear to be dimming, many pundits believe.