Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal missed ‘huge’ opportunity in top-four race after Southampton defeat

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Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal missed ‘huge’ opportunity in top-four race after Southampton defeat
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Mikel Arteta bemoaned Arsenal blowing a “huge” opportunity in the race to qualify for the Champions League by losing at Southampton.

Earlier on Saturday, Arsenal had been given a major boost after their rivals Tottenham lost at home to Brighton.

It meant the Gunners could go level on points with Spurs, with a game in hand, if they beat Saints, but they slipped to a 1-0 loss.

Arsenal are now sat sixth in the Premier League and Arteta was left to rue a golden chance to boost the club’s hopes of Champions League qualification.

Asked how big a missed opportunity it felt after Spurs dropped points, Arteta said: “Huge.

“Because somebody that doesn’t know the result and is watching the game, you know what they would tell you - that Arsenal won the game, and we didn’t.

“It’s very disappointing and difficult to explain with words, but this is what makes this sport different to any other.

“Because again, in basketball, you have 25 shots and the opponent has one, you win 10 out of 10 times.

“They (the Arsenal players) are really down today and they are down because they cannot find the right answers, apart from what we can do better around the box, not to win the match. That’s the frustration.

“When somebody is better you shake their hands and you have to do something, you have to be critical with yourself.

“But when it is happening the way it is happening, apart from 25 minutes against Palace and some periods against Brighton in the first-half, it’s very difficult to explain and accept.”

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