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Mertesacker on the defeat and defence

Per Mertesacker

Per Mertesacker spoke to the media after Arsenal's 2-0 defeat to Chelsea on Sunday afternoon. This is what he had to say:

on this performance compared to last year…Obviously we were more competitive this year. That was the first target, to be much better than last year. At times we were good but not good enough to score a goal. Defensively we made two wrong decisions and we missed the final touch in the last third and the final ball - that was the difference. Overall we have to admit that we can take some positives out of this game but there’s still something to do.

on having the majority of possession…We tried to be more in control than last year and we always made sure we had cover at the back. In the second half we tried to push more and we took more risks. That was the second goal for them. In the first half there were a couple of good decisions, a couple of good chances for us but we missed that bit.

on which area Arsenal weren’t good enough…In the final third. I think we defended quite well. There was always a cover and there was always protection in the final third. We had a couple of decent chances to get through but we failed with the last pass or the last touch.

on whether he can take any consolation…We were much more competitive and we defended much better. That’s what we can take. But they were still better and we have to learn quickly.

on whether he was surprised by the hostility…That’s normal. It was a fair game and there were a couple of tough challenges. That’s something normal and it’s what the people want to see here. We tried to give absolutely everything but in the end it wasn’t enough.

on being in a better place this season than last…We think so but we have to prove it.