Arteta furious after Arsenal wastes two-goal advantage against Hammers

Just seven days after blowing a 2-0 advantage in their 2-2 draw at Liverpool, the Gunners again cracked under the pressure of the title run-in

By AFP

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West Ham United's Jarrod Bowen shoots at goal during the match against Arsenal. — Reuters
West Ham United's Jarrod Bowen shoots at goal during the match against Arsenal. — Reuters

Published: Sun 16 Apr 2023, 8:54 PM

Mikel Arteta said Arsenal "lost purpose" as he bemoaned his side's squandering of a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 against West Ham on Sunday.

Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard put the Premier League leaders two goals up in the opening 10 minutes at the London Stadium.


But just seven days after blowing a 2-0 advantage in their 2-2 draw at Liverpool, the Gunners again cracked under the pressure of the title run-in.

Said Benrahma's penalty reduced the deficit for West Ham before the interval.


Bukayo Saka missed a chance to restore Arsenal's two-goal lead, firing a spot-kick wide early in the second half, before Jarrod Bowen volleyed in an equaliser for the hosts.

The Gunners, chasing its first Premier League title since 2004, is still four points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table but City has a game in hand.

"Very disappointing," Arteta told Sky Sports. "The way we started was superb again, we were in total control, then we lost purpose.

"We gave them hope, conceded a terrible penalty, then credit to them. We got on the rollercoaster where everything is going, corners and throw-ins, and we never got away from that.

"The purpose we needed for a third and fourth goal, I didn't see it."

The Arsenal boss refused to single out Saka for blame after his penalty miss.

"A player who takes penalties misses penalties, I don't know anyone who hasn't," he said.

When asked whether the pressure on his team had increased, in terms of the title race, he said: "It's the same, I don't know how many notches there were a few months ago. We can't control it."

West Ham boss David Moyes hailed a "great performance" from his team, who remain in relegation trouble.

"We were 2-0 down but to come back against Arsenal the way they are playing and, after playing on Thursday, is good," he said.

"I thought we went quite hard early on but their play was good and we could have done better with tracking a couple of runners.

"The biggest thing was to make sure we got back and we did. We could have folded but the players kept going," Moyes said.

"We get the penalty kick and that got us back in the game. That gave us a chance and made us feel like we could do it."

City had closed within three points of the Gunners after beating Leicester 3-1 on Saturday and it is the champion who has the destiny of the title in its hands despite trailing Arsenal for much of the season.

City, who has won its last 10 matches in all competitions, has a game in hand on Arsenal.

With a home game against Arsenal looming on April 26, City knows it will lift a fifth title in six seasons if it wins its remaining eight matches.

By the time Arsenal travels to the Emirates Stadium they will be seven points clear of it if they beat bottom-of-the-table Southampton on Friday.

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