Mikel: "You have to kill the game"

Mikel Arteta said that a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal cost us dearly in Tuesday night’s defeat to Lens in the Champions League group stage.

Gabriel Jesus fired us ahead in the first half with an expert finish, but after the hosts equalised, squandered chances cost us the points, when Elye Wahi netted in front of a vociferous home crowd.

“Firstly congratulations to Lens,” Arteta said at full-time. “They are a really good side, we knew that, we expected a really tough match, and we faced a really tough match.

“We made the most difficult thing - scoring the first goal - we were in total control of the game, that’s when we conceded the goal. After that we had four or three big chances to score and in Europe you have to kill the game when you have those chances.

“That was the difference between today and PSV. Against PSV in both boxes we were exceptional and today we haven’t, and when we haven’t done it in one area, in our own area, to concede the second goal was poor.

“We knew that was going to be a battle, you see the atmosphere, you see the team that they are, what they have done last season.”

The team now have the chance to bounce back on Sunday, when we take on Manchester City in a vital Premier League clash at Emirates Stadium.

“It’s a huge game for us,” the boss added. “We have to sort out this one. After 11 games to have the first defeat is always tough, it’s part of us to test how good we are to come back.”

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