Losing fourth spot to Sp*rs, three points at Selhurst Park and two important players to injury made for a first-class sh*tty start to the week for Arsenal.
The challenge for Mikel Arteta and his squad is to get back to winning ways immediately. More dropped points against Brighton on Saturday would be nothing less than disastrous.
“Embrace the challenge,” said the boss when asked about the damage done on Monday.
“You lost, now you want to win, it’s hurting and it’s still hurting. We lost two big players, two really important players for us for sure. But whenever that happens you can’t cry for it because they are not going to be available for us.
“So we have to find other solutions and we have to be as good and as competitive as we have been.”
As things stand, Arsenal’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League remain in our own hands. If defeat to Palace represents a setback, at least it’s not happened at a more decisive moment.
“It’s happened with nine games to go and we have to react now,” he said.
“We have to show tomorrow the energy, the commitment and the passion that we want to play the game tomorrow in front of our fans.
He added: “Training has been very good. We had to recognise why we lost the game and react and move forward as we always do. The only way we can move is forward. Now we move forward. We have to be in constant movement and the players will be ready for tomorrow.”
The Gunners come into the game having score just once in the last three games. Given Graham Potter’s Brighton have scored the third fewest goals in the league (26), not many will be expecting a goalfest at the Emirates.
That said, Arteta isn’t writing it off just yet.
“You never know in football,” he said. “Let’s see what happens tomorrow, but obviously, we’re going to try score more goals and we’re certainly creating the chances to do so.
“We have struggled in recent matches to put the ball in the net and we need to be more efficient in the opponent’s box and tomorrow it’s something we have to do because Brighton is a team that doesn’t concede much.”
He added: “They’re a team with a lot of personality, a coach that is very willing to play, that is very aggressive in the way they press, that wants to dominate the game and they have good players to do that but they are very difficult to beat.
“They don’t concede a lot of chances and opportunities in open play and also set pieces and they’re a threat.”
Fun fact via Opta – Arsenal have lost just one of their last 28 Premier League matches at 3pm on a Saturday (W23 D4)…but that defeat was against Brighton at the Amex in June 2020.