Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has lamented two aspects of his side’s performance in Sunday’s disappointing 1-1 draw at Southampton. Gabriel Jesus contributed to wastefulness in front of goal, continuing his frustrating drought as the Gunners dropped points for just the second time this season at St. Mary’s.
Jesus’ run without scoring extended to five games on the south coast as he failed to take advantage of Arsenal’s large spells on top against Southampton. And after full-time, his side’s lack of clinical finishing was one of two issues Arteta expressed annoyance over.
The Spanish coach accepted that you ‘pay the price’ in the Premier League for not putting away chances. And he also rued how easily the visitors lost possession after cancelling out a dominant start with a sloppy, panicked performance.
He said: “[We can have] no complaints [about the result]. We were really good [in the] first half [and] created chances we didn’t put away. In the Premier League, if you do that, you can pay the price. We stopped doing the simple things right. We gave so many balls away.”
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Jesus squandered two notable chances during the stalemate, helping his former club Manchester City close the gap at the Premier League summit to just two points. And Arteta admitted he felt the Brazilian striker would be ‘disappointed’ at failing to find the net and end his dry spell.
“I’m sure today he will be disappointed knowing Gabi [Jesus],” Arteta added. “He’s having the chances, and he’s always there. It’s a shame he couldn’t put them away.”
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Jesus started life at Arsenal with nine direct goal involvements in 10 games, but his contributions have dried up as of late. Arteta will no doubt still be content with his role in his thriving team, who had won their previous eight games in all competitions before the Southampton clash.
But Arsenal stumbled against the Saints, which will give the chasing pack, Man City especially, encouragement in what is setting up to be an enthralling title race. And Jesus’ return to goalscoring form would be more than welcome to help boost the Gunners back to normality, which this season has been winning every single week.
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