Arsenal

Arsenal's worst defeats under Mikel Arteta (so far) - ranked

Ross Jackson
Mikel Arteta has suffered some embarrassing losses as Arsenal boss
Mikel Arteta has suffered some embarrassing losses as Arsenal boss / Pool/Getty Images
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You could hardly have blamed Mikel Arteta for accepting Arsenal's invitation to become their manager back in 2019, though in hindsight it's beginning to look like a very ambitious move.

While sitting next to Pep Guardiola for a few years is all well and good, the leap from assistant boss to manager is huge, and to be at the helm of such a massive club in his first ever managerial role is quite the challenge.

Mikel Arteta's men were beaten 2-1 by Hibernian
Mikel Arteta's men were beaten 2-1 by Hibernian / Steve Welsh/Getty Images

Arteta's tenure has come under increased scrutiny in recent months after the club failed to qualify for Europe for the first time in 25 years, and defeat to Hibernian in their first pre-season outing on Tuesday night is not the start he'll have wanted to their 2021/22 campaign.

Arsenal fans are constantly told to 'trust the process' but that's all just beginning to sound a bit like PR rubbish to us. Following their shocking defeat to Hibs, 90min has taken a look back at Arsenal's worst defeats since Arteta took charge in December 2019.


6. Villarreal 2-1 Arsenal (April 2021)

It may not seem like a bad loss on paper, but given the way Arsenal played and the magnitude of the occasion, their defeat to Villarreal at the end of last season was a shocker.

Arteta was taught a managerial lesson by former Arsenal boss Unai Emery and were it not for the Villarreal boss' negative tactics, the Europa League semi-final tie would have been over after the first leg.

Manu Trigueros handed the home side the lead within five minutes with a powerful strike before some woeful Arsenal marking allowed Raul Albiol to double the lead before the half-hour mark.

Nicolas Pepe's second-half penalty offered the Gunners some hope but the damage had already been done and a 0-0 draw at the Emirates Stadium a week later spelled the end of their 25 years in Europe.

A dreadful night for Arteta and definitely one of his worst in management.


5. Tottenham 2-0 Arsenal (December 2020)

Again, getting beat away at a team like Tottenham is hardly a disaster, but the way Arsenal fans were conned into believing their side were the better team was terrifying.

Jose Mourinho's side did what Jose Mourinho sides do, sitting behind the ball and soaking up pressure before hitting teams on the break. The Gunners had 70% possession and double the amount of shots Spurs had, but the home side still mustered more shots on target and basically did a job on their north London rivals.

Adopting Guardiola's style of play is all well and good, but the difference between his team and Arteta's is he's got players in the final third capable of unlocking defences - without that you just end up playing pointless, boring football and that's exactly what Arsenal did here.


4. Brighton 2-1 Arsenal (June 2020)

Arsenal are often accused of lacking leadership and not being strong enough, and those were two traits that reared their ugly heads away at Brighton in Arteta's first season in charge.

The away side peppered Mat Ryan's goal and should have been ahead long before Pepe's strike put them 1-0 up with just a quarter of the game to play.

Against a side fighting for Premier League survival who hadn't won in their last nine league outings, the Gunners should have had more than enough to see out the win, but instead they crumbled as we've become so used to seeing.

Lewis Dunk's goal 15 minutes from time handed the Seagulls an equaliser before Arsenal totally lost their heads and conceded a 95th-minute goal to Neal Maupay as they lost the game 2-1.

The epitome of poor in-game management.


3. Arsenal 0-1 Burnley (December 2020)

Burnley hadn't won an away game all season when they travelled to the Emirates in December 2020, so good on Arsenal for handing them an early Christmas present.

Arteta's men had countless opportunities to break the deadlock - amassing 18 shots on goal across the 90 minutes - but their shocking finishing meant the score remained locked at 0-0.

Still, you would have fancied Arsenal to find the breakthrough sooner or later - that was before Granit Xhaka decided to grab Ashley Westwood by the throat and got himself sent off.

Lack of discipline came back to haunt Arsenal once again as Burnley started to take control of the game, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's late own goal handed the Clarets all three points.


2. Hibernian 2-1 Arsenal (July 2021)

Don't be fooled into thinking Arteta fielded a weakened team against Hibs or that he was purely looking to give players a runout. The Spaniard even said after the game a number of the decisions he made with his starting XI were tactical and he played a very strong team.

Eddie Nketiah missed an absolute sitter early on before Arsenal goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo made a clown of himself by looking like a drunk who'd found a football outside a pub as he tried to hack a clearance clear, allowing Martin Boyle to tap into an empty net.

Arteta threw more of his big-name players on in the second half but their plight only got worse as more abject defending allowed Daniel MacKay to head home at the back post to make it 2-0 to the home side.

Emile Smith Rowe grabbed a late consolation but it proved to be an embarrassing evening for Arsenal.


1. Arsenal 0-3 Aston Villa (November 2020)

Undoubtedly Arsenal's worst performance under Arteta.

The Gunners were second best to every ball against Aston Villa at the Emirates last December, with Jack Grealish pulling the strings and making the Arsenal defence just look daft.

The England man almost grabbed himself an early assist as he teed up John McGinn who smashed the ball home, but the visitors were denied by a marginal offside call.

They didn't have to wait long to take the lead as they tore Arsenal's defence apart before Bukayo Saka put through his own net, while Ollie Watkins' second-half brace gave Villa an emphatic 3-0 win.

The score didn't flatter Villa at all and if anything they could have had more, with Arteta himself admitting after the game it was the worst he'd seen his side play since arriving at the club.

Trust the process though guys, ey?


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