'Unacceptable' - Apologetic Arteta admits Arsenal 'weren't at the races' in Palace defeat

Mikel Arteta called Arsenal's performance "unacceptable" after the Gunners were battered by Crystal Palace on Monday.

The north London outfit were smashed 3-0 by the Eagles under former player Patrick Vieira, with Arteta's side never at the races after conceding a goal scored by Jean-Phillipe Mateta in the 16th minute.

Jordan Ayew and Wilfried Zaha added Palace's other two goals as the Spaniard was left frustrated by his team's effort in what ended as a lopsided loss that could prove damaging to Arsenal's top four hopes.

What was said?

"Congratulations, first of all, to Crystal Palace for winning the match and the way they performed, but we weren’t at the races today, especially in the first half," Arteta said. "We were late to every ball, we were soft in the duels and we didn’t earn the right to play.

"When we did a little bit, we were sloppy on the ball and we didn’t have any dominance, any sequences of play where we could take some control of the game and we conceded two poor goals.

"Overall, it’s unacceptable. We put our hands up, apologise, regroup. Tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity to prepare the group against Brighton.

"I could not see it [coming]. We discussed it just before kick off, the way you win here is when you compete the way you should. That means you win duels, have presence and the composure on the pitch to manage certain situations.

"They are a really physical team and the pitch is not the best to do that so you have to find a way to do other things that usually you don’t have to do. We didn’t manage to do that."

A blow to Arsenal's top four hopes?

The Gunners' pursuit of Champions League football took a hit with the loss, leaving less margin for error in their race for the top four.

As things stand, Arsenal sit fifth, level on points with Tottenham, with a game in hand on their London rivals.

"We have a game in hand still and we need to play," Arteta said. "We know in the nine games a lot of things will happen.

"We have to play each other, we have to play some big games coming up, we have to focus in ourselves. The problem we had today was not Spurs; it was what we did in the first half."

West Ham, meanwhile, are lurking in sixth, although they have three less points than Arsenal with one more game played.

Further reading