Arsenal manager Unai Emery said that the performance in the second half cost his side on Sunday afternoon, as they fell 3-1 to Manchester City.
The Gunners were defeated by Sergio Aguero’s hat-trick at the Etihad Stadium, after going behind inside 46 seconds. Although Laurent Koscielny equalised ten minutes later, they were eventually beaten quite comfortably by the reigning champions.
Emery reflected on his side’s performance after the full-time whistle, speaking in his post-match press conference. As quoted on the club’s official website, he said: “They showed their superiority today over 90 minutes. Above all, the second half cost us.
“We were more open than we were in the first half and they have very fast players in the transition.”
Arsenal were unable to make it three Premier League wins in a row, having beaten both Chelsea 2-0 and Cardiff City 2-1 at the Emirates. However their defeat at the Etihad saw them drop to sixth, below Manchester United.
Despite the disappointing defeat, Emery was keen to praise two of his summer signings, saying: “I’m very happy with Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira’s performances today, but they also need time to improve and to take confidence, to take experience for their future here.”
Arsenal picked up a new injury concern on Sunday, as centre-back Shkodran Mustafi went off injured in the 79th minute. It adds to the Gunners’ long list of defensive absences, which includes the likes of Hector Bellerin and Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
When asked about Mustafi, Emery said: “I think he's okay. He's been having problems all this week and last week. I hope it is not a problem with Mustafi for this week and the next match.”
Emery added: “Last week, he had a problem. During the week he was improving and he was okay to play today, but after the two actions in the second half, I decided to keep him and to give [Konstantinos] Mavrapanos a chance to play.”
Arsenal are back in action on Saturday afternoon, when they play Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium. They then travel to Belarus for the first leg of the Europa League Round of 32, when they face BATE Borisov on 14 February.