Mikel Arteta says Aaron Ramsdale was left frustrated after his error allowed Liverpool to open the scoring against Arsenal on Wednesday night, admitting that both goals conceded at the Emirates were ‘not at our level’.
The Gunners missed out on the chance to strengthen their grip on fourth place as goals from Jota and Roberto Firmino earned Liverpool a vital 2-0 victory.
In a game that appeared to be in the balance for the vast majority of the evening, it was the visitors’ clinical edge which ultimately decided the destination of the points.
Martin Odegaard missed a wonderful opportunity to open the scoring, when he was superbly denied by Alisson, before Jota made Arsenal pay with another Emirates strike after being played in by Thiago Alcantara.The former Wolves striker surprised Ramsdale by shooting early from an acute angle.
Jota’s goal was a well hit shot from a tight angle on the left of the penalty area which beat Ramsdale at his near post, despite the Englishman getting a hand to the ball.
Ramsdale, who has been one of the signings of the Premier League season, got down to his right but despite getting a hand to the ball, he was beaten by the power of the shot near his goal post.
Arteta said the England ‘keeper would be annoyed with the moment, but praised his recent form, which has been excellent on the whole.
‘He will be (frustrated), but this is part of the game,’ said Arteta.
‘So is every time he’s saved us and every time he’s been phenomenal, and today he had some really good moments that helped us to do what we wanted to do in this game against Liverpool.
‘Unfortunately we conceded two goals which are probably not at our level.’
Arsenal icon Paul Merson was in the Sky Sports studio and accused Ramsdale of laziness for letting the shot past him, also hitting out at the defence for allowing Thiago Alcantara’s pass to find Jota.
‘It is poor defending all round and its poor goalkeeping,’ Merson told Sky Sports.
‘The goalkeeper gets lazy, he thinks it is going to be a cross. You should never ever get beaten at your near post.’
Graeme Souness agreed Ramsdale had got his positioning wrong, adding: ‘He gets a good hand on it but he is nearly at full stretch, that is how out of position he is. That is poor positioning.’
In the ascendancy, Firmino then made it two just after the hour mark to end Arsenal’s five-match winning streak and put a dent in their aspirations of securing a return to Champions League football.
It was not just Ramsdale that was left frustrated, but the entire Arsenal team as they performed well, but came away with nothing, just as they did in a 2-1 loss to Manchester City in January.
Arsenal remain one point ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United in the Premier League table, having played two games more.