'We were not a team' - Arteta takes full responsibility for Arsenal's poor showing in Aston Villa defeat

Mikel Arteta Arsenal 2020-21
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The Gunners boss feels his side lacked any sense of unity on Sunday as they slumped to an emphatic loss

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has taken full responsibility for his side's 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa in the Premier League, admitting "we were not a team". 

On the back of three straight wins in all competitions, the Gunners found themselves behind after just 25 minutes against Villa as Bukayo Saka conceded an own goal. 

An injury to Thomas Partey then saw Arsenal's summer recruit forced off at half-time and Dean Smith's men went on to dominate the second 45 minutes as Ollie Watkins scored a clinical brace.

Arteta's side have now scored just once across their past four Premier League matches and the Spaniard believes their latest performance marked a new low. 

"First of all congratulations to Aston Villa for the way they played and the victory," Arteta told Sky Sports post-match.

"After that, we performed below our standards and I have to say it's the first time I've seen us play and we weren't a team.

"I take full responsibility. We didn't start well enough, we got away with VAR for an offside situation but we lost all the races, the duels and we were sloppy on the ball. When we created chances we didn't hit the target. It's a really bad combination. We left spaces and on the counter we looked really vulnerable.

"I take full responsibility. I am responsible to make the team perform on the pitch and today we were not a team and it is my job. It is why I am standing here.

"It is a frustration. It takes a lot to build momentum, to build a way of being, living and performing and when something like that comes up it's a hard one to take but in a hard moment you learn more than in a positive moment and I want to see how we react."

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Speaking to BBC Sport, Arteta added that the international break comes at a poor time for his side: "I would rather play tomorrow. I know how hurting they are. My job is to lift them up. I would like to do that tomorrow morning but everyone is on international duty.

"Everyone has to reflect when they're away and come back and not let it happen again."

Arsenal currently sit 11th in the Premier League after eight matches and next face Leeds United at Elland Road on November 22.