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Arteta: Arsenal played exactly how I want in Crystal Palace draw

19:33 GMT+4 11/01/2020
Mikel Arteta Crystal Palace Arsenal 11012020
The Gunners slipped up again at Selhurst Park but the coach was happy with what he saw in the first half

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says his side played "exactly" the way he wants them to in the early stages of their 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The Gunners' struggles continued this week when they were held at Selhurst Park when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's early opener was cancelled out by Jordan Ayew in the second half.

The afternoon got worse for Arteta's side when Aubameyang was shown a red card midway through the second period when he brought down Max Meyer. Referee Paul Tierney initially gave the Gabon international a yellow card, but a VAR review saw it upgraded to a dismissal and he will now miss their next three matches - including a clash with London rivals Chelsea.

Their collapse against Roy Hodgson's men means Arsenal have won just one of their last six matches in the Premier League and are in danger of falling even further behind the coveted Champions League places.

But Arteta was happy with what he saw from his side in the first half, though he admits Crystal Palace performed well after the break. 

"The first 35 minutes is exactly what I want our Arsenal team to play like," he told BT Sport. "We were dominant in the right positions and created chances. After that we started to give free kicks and give balls away.

"In the first 15 minutes of the second half, credit to them because they pushed. They started to put men up front and we struggled. We switched off completely for the goal and that’s unacceptable.

"I don’t think we let our concentration slip. To control Palace for 90 minutes here is impossible. They put balls in the box and you have to defend the situation."

The Spanish coach defended Aubameyang from claims that his challenge on Meyer was malicious, but admits it was a strong tackle.

"I haven’t seen it, but I think it was a harsh challenge," he added. "There was no intention, but I think he mistimed it."

The north London side lost midfielder Lucas Torreira to injury halfway through the game, but Arteta is waiting on news about the severity of the problem.

"We have to check with the doctor but it looks like an injury," he said.