Interview

‘We wanted to give the fans something special’

First-half goals from Romelu Lukaku and Reece James consigned us to defeat against Chelsea in our first Premier League home match of the season.

After the match, Mikel Arteta looked back on the match - and here’s what he said.

on the game…
It's another defeat, the second one of the season which is really tough to take. Chelsea deserved to win, I think they were the better side overall. We had moments at the start of the first half and at the beginning of the second half. After conceding the goal they started to manage the game exactly how they wanted. When we had them in good areas and without the ball with our press they still managed to come out with the incredible quality that they have. They showed in moments why they are the champions of the Champions League. What I liked about the team is that at 2-0 they never gave up, they tried right up to 90 minutes. With our limitations, because at the moment we are missing eight or nine players. I'm sad, sad for the fans because we really wanted to give them something special today. Even though we know the circumstances we have with the team at the moment, and not being able to do that and enjoy this moment with them is sad.

on the effect of injuries and illnesses…
Well hopefully then it can get better. It started really hard and difficult, we are trying to deal with that situation. We are playing a team that is probably unprecedented in Arsenal's history. But it is what we have, and credit to the boys for how they are trying. It's probably the best experience for what they are facing like that, and they trying to give their best and some of them are doing it at a really good level, but at the moment it's not enough to win football matches.

on the fans - and their roar at kick-off… 
It was incredible, I think they really tried, they really wanted to push the team. Right from the beginning they were right behind them. At the end in the second half they were trying to push us and give us energy that we needed. And of course there is disappointment, we are here to win football matches, and we can't expect anything different.

on his approach to the League Cup…
To win the game and go to the next round. Try to get players back if possible to help us because then we have Manchester City at the weekend. Try to lift the players. Obviously they are hurt, the feeling is tough at the moment, they need some help as well with players coming back, and keep them together, because the spirit there is good.

on how he’ll motivate the players ahead of a big week… 
They don't need motivating. Honestly, they are really together, one thing they don't need is motivating. That is really clear, they are really trying what they can do. Give them confidence, that is what they need.

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