Arteta: First half dominance wasn't capitalised on

After seeing his team lose 2-0 to Aston Villa, Mikel Arteta felt that we failed to capitalise on our strong first-half display and were made to pay for that.

Late goals from Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins saw Villa complete a league double over us this season, but we could easily have been well ahead of the break after we missed a host of good opportunities during a period of dominance before the break.

And Mikel feels that was the turning point as Unai Emery’s team grew in confidence after our profligacy in front of goal, and that led to them gaining a foothold in the contest that they ultimately went on to win.

Discussing his emotions post-match, Mikel said: “We’re really disappointed and frustrated because of the way we played the first half and the amount of chances and situations we created, how dominant we were and it should have obviously been a very, very different scoreline.

“We didn’t capitalise on that and in the second half we struggled much more to get momentum. It was a much more even game, and we dropped the level. They increased it and we conceded very poor goals that cost us the game.

“We didn’t score any goals and on top of that, we conceded two goals that are nowhere near the level that we’ve been at. That’s the reason why we lost the game and you have to congratulate the opponent as well when you lose the game.”

With the games coming thick and fast, there are only a few days until we get the chance to put things right when we head to Bayern Munich for our Champions League quarter-final second leg.

And Mikel is adamant that his players have to put this result behind them as they aim to become the first Gunners to reach the last four of the competition since 2009.

“When you are winning and winning and winning it’s easy to stand in front of the cameras and go to the fans and play with a flow,” he added. “The moment is now that we have to show real character and cohesion and togetherness, because on Wednesday we have a beautiful opportunity to make history again at this club.

“We have to be full of belief and fully committed to go there to win. That’s the opportunity ahead of us. Things happen for a reason, let’s make it happen.”

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