Arteta praises team spirit amid defensive challenges

Posted : 06 December 2023

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta chose not to assign blame to goalkeeper David Raya despite Raya's errors nearly jeopardizing Arsenal's fortunes in a thrilling 4-3 victory against Luton Town. The Spanish goalkeeper, who recently replaced Aaron Ramsdale, made critical mistakes, allowing Luton to score twice in eight minutes and take the lead.

 

Raya was caught out of position during a 49th-minute corner, leading to Elijah Adebayo's equalizer, and he later dived over a Ross Barkley shot that put Luton in front. However, Kai Havertz equalized, and Declan Rice scored the winning goal in the seventh minute of added time, securing Arsenal's five-point lead.

 

Arteta emphasized the importance of the team's collective responsibility in defending situations rather than singling out individuals. He stated, "It's about how the team reacts to that because it's going to happen, and I love that response." Despite defensive lapses, Arteta praised the spirit and determination of his team, highlighting their refusal to settle for a draw at Kenilworth Road, a ground where Arsenal had not won since 1984.

 

The manager commended the team's drive, energy, risk-taking, and emotional commitment on the pitch, acknowledging that conceding goals is part of the game. Arteta focused on the positive reaction and resilience displayed by his players.

 

However, the night was not without its challenges, as Arteta revealed that Takehiro Tomiyasu, unable to play, faces a significant lay-off due to a calf injury. Despite this setback, Arsenal's overall performance and the team's ability to secure the win were highlighted as the key takeaways from the match.

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