With Mikel Arteta isolating at home after testing positive for Covid, it was left to his first team coach Albert Stuivenberg to take the reins on the touchline, and the Dutchman came so close to overseeing a battling point against Manchester City.
The Gunners were well on top in the opening half, and looked to be on track for all three points before a City penalty and a red card for Gabriel in the space of a few minutes changed the complexion of the game.
The ten men of Arsenal rallied after that, only to be denied a point by a late Rodri goal.
"Frustration and being proud of the performance is both there," Stuivenberg said to Arsenal Media after the game.
"Of course, in football, it’s about getting the points and you need and in this case, we really wanted and deserved the three points, but we end with zero points and that’s of course very disappointing."
"We are very proud because if you look at our process that we’re in with this young team, we want to see a team that can develop, be able to compete with a top team like Man City and in this case, I think we were the dominant team.
"We deserved the goal, I think we also deserved the penalty and to score at least one more than we did before half time, that’s the only thing.
"When you create those chance against a team like this, you have to take them."
Albert, who had previously managed Genk in Belgium, also said he had spoken with Mikel at the final whistle: "Yes, I was in touch with him at the end. He’s very proud of the performance of the players, he really enjoyed the game, but of course also he’s very frustrated that we don’t end up with three points because at the end it’s all about that."
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