Flamini on the fans and Stoke defeat

Mathieu Flamini

Mathieu Flamini says Arsenal have "no excuses" for their first-half performance at Stoke City.

The Gunners conceded after 19 seconds at the Britannia Stadium and were breached twice more before responding in the second half with goals from Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey.

It wasn't enough to rescue a point and Flamini apologised to Arsenal's travelling fans after a disappointing afternoon.

"[We can't defend like that], we have no excuses," he said. "We came here and wanted to come back with the three points, especially when we were coming back from a good run of games, but today we did not start the game well at all.

"We conceded a goal after [19] seconds and after that we had an opportunity to come back into the game but we couldn't score. We are very upset with ourselves and very sorry for our fans, who travelled here.

"It is a difficult day for us, the only positive thing today is the character we showed, because we didn't give up, we pushed it until the last minute. Unfortunately we didn't manage to get the draw."

Arsenal's record at Stoke now stands at one win in nine visits and Flamini admits that the Gunners made it even tougher for themselves on Saturday.

"It's not easy to come here and today Stoke played a great game, they have been very strong physically and they defended well," he said.

"Our mistake was to concede a goal stupidly and too early in the game, after it's difficult when you're 3-0 down. Like I said, the positive thing was that we didn't give up but once again we're really sorry to the fans who travelled here today."

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