Mikel Arteta insists Alexandre Lacazette had a ‘great game’ despite missing a huge opportunity for Arsenal to equalise against Liverpool on Monday night, which the Gunners boss admitted he had to score if they wanted to get a result.
Liverpool beat Arteta’s men 3-1 at Anfield, despite Lacazette opening the scoring for the visitors as he pounced on an Andy Robertson mistake.
With the score at 2-1, Lacazette was put through on goal by Dani Ceballos but spurned the excellent chance, hitting the ball straight at the advancing Alisson Becker.
Arteta did not want to criticise his striker, but admitted that chances like that had to go in for his side to get anything against the champions.
‘Obviously he had the best chance in the game to make it 2-2, and then again put us in a really strong position, but he had a great game,’ Arteta told Sky Sports.
‘He put in another incredible performance and I’m pleased with him. I want to see my players upset and angry when we lose a game.
‘When it comes to Anfield, you’re not going to get 10 chances, when you get through one against one with the keeper, you have to score if you want to get something from the game.’
Manchester United legend Roy Keane was working as a pundit on the match and echoed Arteta’s sentiment that chances that good cannot be missed against a side like Liverpool.
‘Lacazette could have taken it through, had a better touch. He should have put the ball into the back of the net, get into good habits,’ said the Irishman.
‘They are huge opportunities that you have to take. It was the middle of the goal.
‘We have to credit the goalkeeper for standing up but you don’t get many of those opportunities against Liverpool and you have to take them.’
‘It is a really tough place to come, they are a really good side. We stayed in the game for almost the whole match,’ said the Spaniard.
‘Having took the lead, we should have held that situation a bit better. We conceded the goal too early.
‘We competed well knowing the difficult moments you will have when you come to Anfield; when we had the clear chances to make it 2-2 we didn’t take them.
‘They want to win and this is what they are like, the mindset of the team. They go to any ground and want to win. They really believed we could come here and do it and for large periods of the game we were there.’
There is a replica of the contest on Thursday night when Liverpool host Arsenal in the Carabao Cup fourth round.