Press conference

Arteta on Palace, Aubameyang, VAR: transcript

Mikel Arteta cut a frustrated figure after Saturday's game against Crystal Palace.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's goal had given us the perfect start but after Jordan Ayew had levelled the scores, our captain saw red following a VAR review.

Our head coach was asked about our performance, Aubameyang and VAR after the game. This is what he had to say:

on how unhappy he was with the equaliser and red card...
I was pleased with how we started the game, with the way we dominated the first half. We saw things that we'd worked on in training and the way they executed them was good. But obviously after the break we knew they were going to push, they had more bodies forward, they put us under pressure more. We started to give bad free-kicks away and that's something that we have to avoid. Then we switched off for the goal. We completely switched off and allowed them to put the cross in. We turned and conceded the deflection, and I was very disappointed with that. After that, I must say that we reacted really well again after conceding the goal. After Auba's red card, we reacted even better in my opinion.

on Aubameyang's red card...
I just watched it and it looked nasty, to be fair. Knowing Auba, there's no intention to make such a tackle. Hopefully he hasn't been injured and we are sorry for that. The decision was made and we have to accept it. 

on coming close to a late winner...
That's what I wanted to see from my team with 10 men. The reaction was really, really positive and they wanted to win the game. They went for it and we had three or four really good situations. We created the best chance with Nico and Laca. We were unlucky not to win the game.

on losing Aubameyang for the next three games...
That's a massive blow. We know how important Auba is for the team. Maybe we're going to lose him for a couple of games.

on Crystal Palace being able to get back into the game...
It's credit to them. It wasn't that easy in the first half because they were poor and we were good, but in the second half when they started to change a few bits, they made it a bit more difficult. We have to learn from that, how to get out of those positions. We started to commit a lot of fouls as well, and everything was stop-start. It's not the kind of game that suits us at the moment. I was pleased with a lot of things, though.

on how he keeps our players' focus...
At this level in the Premier League, if you switch off for two seconds, five seconds, you will concede a goal straight away. I'm going to have to find a way to try to avoid those situations. It happened today and it cost us two points.

on whether we should get rid of VAR...
I think it will get to the point that we all want. It's still a process where it's true that sometimes it breaks everything up, but for the big decisions it's important to have it. It's in place at the moment, we have to respect the decisions and then hopefully it will make more positive than negative decisions.

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