Mikel Arteta Arsenal Goodison Park December 2020

Arsenal’s last 6 big setbacks under Mikel Arteta – & how they responded

Arsenal’s title charge has hit a major wobble with six points dropped in three games as they approach the run-in. Mikel Arteta’s Gunners let slip two-goal leads against Liverpool and West Ham before drawing at home to bottom-placed Southampton.

Could this be a run that proves terminal for their title chances or can they bounce back? They still have their fate in their own hands, but the recent results mean they may have to go away to title rivals Manchester City and come away with a win.

We’ve taken a look at how Arsenal have responded to their last six big setbacks under Arteta.

Everton 1-0 Arsenal (February 2023)

Arteta’s men left Goodison Park frustrated after Sean Dyche picked up three points in his first match in charge of relegation-battling Everton. The Toffees produced the kind of solidly defensive display that Dyche has made his name on, with James Tarkowski heading in a set-piece (of course) proving the difference.

Arsenal had travelled up to Merseyside flying, unbeaten in 13 and taking 22 points from the last 26 available. But the defeat – only their second of the season – precipitated their worst run of the 2022-23 campaign, albeit a short one.

Following the result at Goodison, the Gunners were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Brentford and then allowed City to gain ground by losing 3-1 at home.

The wheels really seemed to be coming off the wagon when they went to Villa Park and were still drawing 2-2 deep into added time, but two late goals sparked a sensational seven-match winning run.

Man Utd 3-1 Arsenal (September 2022)

Arsenal produced a performance symptomatic of their superb 2022-23 form when they visited Old Trafford in the early weeks of the campaign.

They put Erik ten Hag’s newly rejuvenated under a lot of pressure and created a number of big chances, but ultimately left Manchester empty-handed after getting sucker-punched and conceding a killer third on the counter as they went in search of an equaliser.

It was Arsenal’s first Premier League defeat of 2022-23 and would prove their only defeat of the first half of the season. Arteta’s men ended up winning 3-0 at Brentford in the following fixture and took 26 of 30 points available in their following 10. An emphatic response.

Tottenham 3-0 Arsenal (May 2022)

Arsenal went into the late-season north London derby with all the impetus in the race for Champions League qualification. They knew that a draw away at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium would all but seal a top-four slot ahead of Spurs, while they’d still be masters of their own fate even with a defeat.

A 3-0 shellacking against Antonio Conte’s side proved a major blow to confidence though, and a few days later they were similarly flat in a poor 2-0 loss at Eddie Howe’s newly-minted Newcastle.

Those back-to-back defeats were the final nail in Arsenal’s top-four hopes. A stylish 5-1 win on the final day against Everton proved meaningless.

Arsenal went away in the summer to lick their wounds and returned to pre-season as a hungry beast, setting the tone for the exceptional side we’ve seen in 2022-23.

Crystal Palace 3-0 Arsenal (March 2022)

The Gunners were in an excellent run when they came up against old friend Patrick Vieira and Crystal Palace in the Spring of the 2022-23 campaign. They’d won five on the bounce before the visit to Selhurst Park but were well-beaten on the day by Palace.

“We were poor, especially in the first half. I apologise to our supporters. We didn’t have the presence today or the composure to dominate the situation so that is what I’m most annoyed with,” responded Arteta.

“Some days you are not there and you are late all the time. They got on top of it and had a good atmosphere and we could not get out.”

To make matters worse, it was discovered that Kieran Tierney would be out for an extended period due to a knee injury. Thomas Partey was also sidelined by an injury sustained in the defeat, and that seemed to have a derailing effect.

Arsenal lost their subsequent outings to Brighton and Southampton. They recovered to win their next four in a row, but those nine dropped points proved fatal.

Arsenal 1-2 Man City (January 2022)

This New Year’s Day defeat to the eventual Premier League champions was a sickener. This was arguably the best performance we’d seen to date from Arsenal under Arteta as they largely outplayed Pep Guardiola’s juggernaut.

A great performance counted for no points, though, as Rodri broke hearts at the Emirates with an injury-time winner.

With domestic action getting in the way – Arsenal lost to Nottingham Forest in the third round of the FA Cup and lost on aggregate to Liverpool in the League Cup semis – it was three weeks before Arsenal’s next league fixture: a 0-0 draw at home to Sean Dyche’s Burnley.

After that, Arsenal did go on their best winning run of the season, winning five in a row to get their objective of the top four back on track.

Richard Keys argues that Arsenal and Mikel Arteta overcelebrated their Premier League win over Fulham on beIN SPORT, August 28 2022.

READ: Analysing Richard Keys’ vendetta against Arsenal and Mikel Arteta

Brentford 2-0 Arsenal (August 2021)

The 2021-22 was Arsenal’s first without European football in over two decades after Arteta led the Gunners to eighth place the season before.

The “trust the process” mantra was severely tested as the Gunners struggled in the early weeks of the season. They were well-beaten by newly-promoted Brentford in their bouncing new stadium and followed that up by failing to score in defeats to Chelsea (0-2) and Man City (5-0) – their worst start in 67 years.

To rub salt into their wounds, while they sat rock bottom Nuno Espirito Santo’s (!) Tottenham were top of the league after winning their first three.

But the Arsenal board held their nerve and gave Arteta time to turn the ship around, which he duly did. Arsenal won their next three matches, including a 3-1 home win in the north London derby, which resulted in them overtaking Spurs in less than a month. Things can change quickly in football.

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