Press conference

Every word from Mikel's post-Chelsea presser

Mikel Arteta during the game against Chelsea

Not long after seeing his side recover from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Chelsea, Mikel Arteta was whisked into the Stamford Bridge media room to tackle questions from journalists about the game.

The boss was asked about our comeback and the positives and negatives, some of the key refereeing decisions and the impact of Leandro Trossard off the bench, among many other things.

Here is everything he had to say:

on what went wrong and what went right tonight:
We conceded two and scored two! I think where it went wrong was at the start of the game, I think we didn't play with enough purpose with the ball and clarity, we were just moving the ball without really having the intention to threaten them, and that's a really dangerous thing to do against teams like Chelsea. We didn't win even duels and in tight areas when we had them, they escaped from that, they attacked open spaces and they are really dangerous things to do, so credit to them because they are a top side full of top players and you have to acknowledge that.

When we don't have those two things, then we've got an average team, we changed that and we started to lift the level after 20 or 25 minutes and especially in the second half, that's a different game. We became a much better team, even though we conceded the second goal and it was disappointing, the way the team reacted was phenomenal. Whether it was the players that were here, the players that were on the bench, thinking: 'how I'm going to change the game and help the team', so that's the part that I loved. What I really liked as well was going into the dressing room and the dressing room being quiet after drawing 2-2 against Chelsea and being 2-0 down, because I know that they want more, so those are the positives.

on the boss' thoughts on the penalty:
I already mentioned it to the referee, and I got booked for that, so I prefer to make no comment. I wasn't happy with the yellow there.

on if the handball law had been implemented correctly in the decision:
Well, the law is clear as well in where the ball has to be in relation to the action and it's very close. It's impossible to jump without lifting your hands, it's just mechanically impossible.

on the team's character in our comeback:
I have no doubt about that, I could see at half-time that there was a knife between our teeth, and we accepted that we have to do much better. The game state was there for us and we had that belief and even when we conceded the goal and the way we conceded, we continued to be like this, and I loved that about the team. I'm going to demand that every single day, because this is who we are and when you're not at your best, you still have to create a lot of issues for the opponent.

on Chelsea's second goal:
I haven't seen it live again, we looked at it from the angle, it's a very strange angle to concede from. I didn't know if it was a deflection or the trajectory of the ball.

on the chants for Aaron Ramsdale:
Great, I love him, I will sing as well for him, every single day we've sung a lot for him, yesterday because he was a father, the most beautiful thing to do and he's someone who has this charisma and personality and is very loved around the team.

on the passing of Sir Bobby Charlton:
Really sad news, but I think he leaves us in the best position that you can be. As a footballer, the values that he transmitted, the quality and how he changed English football, changed international football, the appreciation that he had, the love that he had for everybody, the respect that he had for everybody. Obviously, he already had a legacy, but I think that's going to be beyond what he already had, so rest in peace. I think everybody appreciated and loved what he did for this game.

on Leandro Trossard's impact off the bench:
First of all, he's very good and he's got this mentality to be always willing to help the team. He had an injury that he wasn't fit enough to play the last few games, then he played Man City and he had to come off, and he worked really hard during the international break to be able to be fit again. Those things, it's like with Martinelli, changes the momentum of his season and I could see that he was ready to come in. It was a very intelligent run, the way he anticipates the cross and the action, and obviously the way he executes it, because it's still not easy to score.

on if the boss was surprised it took 70 minutes for Cucurella to get booked:
I've been surprised by many things, I'm not going to get surprised by that.

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