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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta believed his side lacked courage and purpose during their damaging 2-1 loss to Brighton at the Emirates. It was their second loss in a row following their 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace a week ago. Tottenham moved three points clear of their North London rivals the next day after a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Aston Villa. Arteta criticized the ability of his team to impose themselves on the game and rise to the occasion.

“The first half was really poor again. The reaction that we wanted to show and everything we talked about we didn’t make it happen on the pitch,” Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said. “We were sloppy with the ball, we were second best in a lot of situations, we didn’t show any purpose or build any momentum in the game, we didn’t play with the right speed and transform the game Brighton proposed today and the first chance – the only chance they had – they scored a goal. We created a cold atmosphere we were uncomfortable with. When we tried to change it, it was great not to give up but it was too late.”

“The fans were here and again they were exceptional. You can see the moment we gave them something… but we played a game that you could not see the purpose, the intention of what the team was trying to do. We didn’t give them anything in the first half and that is down to us,” he added. “It was not a problem of attitude, it was a problem of courage we showed to play and we didn’t have that purpose. We didn’t have that intention to attack and step in and provoke the situation we wanted to. We were looking at each other too many times instead of taking ownership and doing what we have to do. You can’t play like that.”

Also, Read Tottenham: Antonio Conte ‘feels blood’ of rivals

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