Mikel Arteta Discusses Man City Defeat, Thomas Partey Omission & Penalty Claims

Mikel Arteta, Thomas Partey
Partey started on the bench on Saturday | Michael Regan/Getty Images

Mikel Arteta was left to rue his side's lack of cutting edge as Arsenal fell to a 1-0 defeat way at Manchester City on Saturday, their 29th consecutive Premier League match away at a 'big six' side without victory.

There were chances for Bukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in a tight affair, but the contest was settled by Raheem Sterling's first half strike.

Speaking after the match, Arteta discussed an array of matters having now seen his side gain nine points from their opening five league matches of the 2020/21 season.

On Dropping More Points on the Road

Mikel Arteta, Hector Bellerin
Arsenal have three wins from five matches this season | Michael Regan/Getty Images

While the 1-0 scoreline demonstrates a vast improvement from the club's most recent trip to face City, the end result was nevertheless the same. Having had chances in the match, Arteta claimed he was proud of the performance, but was disappointed to see his side play so deep.

"Upset obviously not to get anything from the game the way the game went because I felt that we kept growing and growing and having more belief that we could actually get something from it," he said, via Football.London.

"At the same time I'm extremely proud about the way we played individually and collectively to put the performance that we put in tonight in this stadium. It's not an easy thing to do. I think we had a real go.

"It's upsetting to see your team so deep. In the second half we were really aggressive, we played in the opponents' half, they had a lot of issues to get out of our pressure. We could have created more, I think, in the final third.

Why Thomas Partey Didn't Start

Thomas Partey
Partey made his debut as a late sub | Pool/Getty Images

Much of the talk pre-match centered around whether deadline day signing Thomas Partey would jump straight into Arteta's starting lineup, but the Spaniard opted to keep the £45m addition on the bench for the Etihad showdown. On the topic, Arteta insisted it was too soon to thrust the Ghanaian into action.

"We will see how quickly we can make it with him but as well we have to respect that process and that time for him because he only trained a day really with us," he said.

"It's a lot of new information, it's a completely different game model for him to understand. We have to respect a little bit that. When he came on he looked good."

Whether Arsenal Should Have Had a Penalty in the First Half

Kyle Walker
Walker could have been penalised | Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

It looked as if the Gunners would be handed a lifeline late in the first half, as Kyle Walker's high foot came within inches of connecting with Gabriel Magalhaes' head in the penalty box. Hoping for a VAR review, referee Chris Kavanagh opted to blow the whistle for half time seconds late, indicating no second look had taken place.

"You need everything to go your way to get a win here and obviously when you have the three or four big chances we had you have to put them away because you know that in your box that's going to be the case," Arteta concluded.

"It's that situation, I've seen it back, I just ask for the refs to watch it back and I don't think they checked it because it took two seconds for the whistle to go.

"I am disappointed with that."