On the team’s performance against Spurs…
“We could not maintain the focus nor the urgency for 90 minutes because some players dropped. I believe as well that overall we delivered a performance expected in a game like that quality wise and if you look at the stats and the numbers it’s very difficult to understand how we lost this game.

“A drop of concentration, some basic errors, some bad luck as well because the penalty spot I think was not a foul for them at the start. And on top of that, not only did we get the foul but we get the penalty where we are guilty of. But overall you are a bit speechless. To re-analyse the game, it’s a mystery how we can lose a game like that.”

On whether Arsenal were denied a penalty in the second half…
“I don’t know, I haven’t seen that well.”

On being in complete control in the first half…
“[We were in control] in the second as well. It was a free kick for us – goal for them. You know? We were caught on counterattack at 2-0 up. And after we were punished on the second goal. If you look at the clear-cut chances that Tottenham had today, it’s easy to see how we conceded three goals. It’s one of those games where we dominated them more than any other one but we lost it and we can only look at ourselves.”

On Harry Redknapp saying Spurs can win the title…
“There are ten teams who can win it mathematically. Tottenham is one of them.”

On whether the team lacked focus…
“No. I believe that we have focused on the game. If we had not started the game well I would say that. I felt some players who played mid-week – who played Sunday, Wednesday, today – could not maintain the pace in the game and that we dropped physically and we had some heavy legs in the second half. 

On if he would have liked to see Nasri shake hands with Gallas…

“Ideally you would prefer that everybody in the world always loves everybody, but it doesn’t always happen.”

On complacency after building the lead…
“It’s difficult to say if we dropped physically or concentration-wise. I believe what is difficult to accept is that when you are 2-0 up, you have a free kick and you are caught on a counter attack. That is very difficult to understand. Once a team comes back to 2-1 they have hope again. And we couldn’t take our third chance. We had plenty of chances to score: we had Chamakh, Koscielny, one or two shots and overall Spurs always remained dangerous on the counterattack.

On whether Arsenal were slow to react to Spurs’ changes in the second half…
“Maybe. I felt that they were more open in the second half and we had more room to play and to create chances, but I felt for example that Chamakh in the second half was clean through and came back because he had no legs. He played 70 or 80 minutes on Wednesday night. Of course after they come back and they are dead. But we had the opportunities, even in the second half to kill this game off.

If three home defeats is too many at this stage of the season…
“Yes I agree. Three home defeats are three too many. The first two games we didn’t deliver the performance and we can only say that we got what we deserved. Today we delivered the performance, but what is worrying for me is that we had an opportunity to go to the top of the league and when we have to deliver we can’t. That’s worrying because that’s part of our job.”

If Arsenal still had a chance to win after the handball…
“Yes of course. I’m convinced that we are it but there are opportunities in the championship that you want to take and today we put ourselves in the right position and we failed. We have to accept that. And that is mental more than football. If Tottenham had dominated the game and created 10 chances and they won the game, you would say, ‘okay, we have lost against the better team today.’ Today we were always in the position where we could win the game and we didn’t win it. And that is something that is difficult to swallow.

“They are tough. I believe there is a matter that exists in football as well – that is bad luck. How can you imagine that suddenly you get a free kick and then a penalty behind that when the free kick is missed? It is difficult. You cannot predict all but for me there is a mixture of fatigue in the second half and lack of cautiousness as well.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 20 Nov 2010