Mikel Arteta admitted he was happy with the performance of his side, but not the result after seeing us knocked out of the Carabao Cup at the hands of Brighton & Hove Albion.
Things had looked to be going our way when Eddie Nketiah put us in front, and even after a Danny Welbeck penalty restored parity, a series of chances in the second half saw us well on top in the contest.
However, strikes from Kaoru Mitoma and Tariq Lamptey on the counter saw our much-changed side defeated at Emirates Stadium for the first time in 12 matches, but Arteta felt that the scoreline flattered the visitors.
Speaking post-match, he said: “I don’t think the result reflects what happened on the pitch, but the defence wasn’t in the boxes today. We created more than enough chances to win the game I think, but we come away with a painful result.
“We started the first 20 minutes of the second half really, really well. We were really dominant and we should have scored two or three goals, and in that moment we just conceded the second one and that changed the game.”
The boss made 10 alterations to his side to try and keep everybody fresh after a gruelling run of fixtures over the past six weeks, and with the Seagulls flying high in sixth position in the Premier League table, he suggested it was always going to be a tough ask to rotate and get the right result against a side with real momentum and belief.
However, Arteta admits that it was necessary to make the switches, with a big league encounter at Wolves on the horizon in our final match before the pause for the World Cup.
“We wanted to give the chance to everybody that is involved in the squad and we believed that this was the competition to do it,” he added. “I’m happy with the way they performed, but disappointed with the result.
“Sometimes in football you don’t always get what you deserve, and today I think it is the case. But we are out and we are sorry for that because we wanted a very different result, but now we have a big one coming up on Saturday.”
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