Having seen us let the lead slip late on against Fulham to draw 2-2, Mikel Arteta admitted he couldn’t quite believe we hadn’t come away with three points.
Goals from Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah saw us overcome Andreas Pereira’s early opener, but Joao Palhinha’s late equaliser from a corner saw the Cottagers earn a point.
And Mikel was left scratching his head that our dominance of the game hadn’t yielded all three for his side, as we saw our 100 per cent start come to an end.
“It is really difficult to accept that we haven’t won the game. Obviously we made life really hard for ourselves giving the goal away in the first minute, but after that, the team had the response that we all expected.
“We dominated the game from the start to the finish and we generated I cannot remember how many big chances and how many situations. We gave absolutely nothing to the opponent and got back into the game and scored the second one, and then the game has to finish there.
“When you have a set play you have to defend the box with your lives and if you don't, you give a chance to the opponent and they have taken that, but otherwise I don’t know what else you have to do to win a game.
“In any other sport you would win by a lot of points, but this is football and the margins are small. The boxes defined the game today and we are really disappointed.”
Despite the late setback, the boss feels there were plus to take from the game. Mikel feels that seeing his team carve out so many opportunities bodes well for the future, as well as the impact of our substitutes.
Nketiah may have gotten on the scoresheet but Fabio Vieira’s role in our two goals was crucial, winning the penalty for the first and then providing a pinpoint cross for the second in a display that delighted his manager.
“Everything is so positive from the start to the finish, apart from the two goals that they scored,” Mikel added. “With the chances we generated, we should have scored six or seven goals but we haven’t.
“Fabio was excellent and it is the first minutes he’s played in the Premier League this season and I was really impressed with how he wanted the ball and how positive he was, the decisions that he made and the attitude that he had straight away - he was really good.”
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