The shock of Arsenal suffering just their second league defeat of the season against Everton appeared to get Mikel Arteta mixed up in his post-match interview. The Gunners were deservedly beaten 1-0 by the Toffees at Goodison Park on Saturday (February 5) in a surprise loss that has raised doubts over their title credentials.
Arteta spoke to the media after the setback on Merseyside and made a mistake in identifying the opponents his side had lost to. He said (via talkSPORT):
“Credit to Burnley, they play I think a really good game, and they lifted the crowd and they deserve to be congratulated.”
“The way that they played, they broke the game all the time, it’s so direct. Every time the ball is in the air and duels and set pieces and you have to be so good and really consistent and not to get dragged out of the game. And we haven’t done well enough today.”
The reason the Arsenal boss would have been confused is the opposing manager Sean Dyche. It was the former Burnley coach’s first game in charge at Goodson. Alongside this, it was ex-Claret defender James Tarkwoski, whose 60th-minute header gave Everton a vital win, and he was assisted by Dwight McNeil, who also plied his trade at Turf Moor.
The surprise defeat has opened up the title race with Arteta’s men five points clear of second-placed Manchester City, who face Tottenham Hotspur later today (February 5). Meanwhile, the Merseysiders have moved onto 18 points, only sitting in 18th place due to goal difference.
Rio Ferdinand reckons Arsenals’ Oleksandr Zinchenko was flustered by Everton’s introduction of Neal Maupay
Maupay has become a foe of the Arsenal team over the years. He has been involved in tense incidents. This includes a clash with former Gunners midfielder Matteo Guendouzi when he previously played for Brighton & Hove Albion.
Manchester United legend and BT Sport pundit Ferdinand claims that Maupay flustered Arteta’s men after he came on in the 62nd minute. The Everton striker got involved in a scuffle with Zinchenko, which led to both players getting booked. The former Red Devils defender touched on this. He said on his Vibe with Five podcast:
“Maupay has had up Arsenal a couple of times. He has though, I’m not joking. He’s ruffled your feathers a few times.”
“Today came on, he had Zinchenko all flustered. Last time against Arsenal and what happened, was it when he was at Brighton? He called out [Matteo] Guendouzi.”
Everton fans will hope their players continue to be a nuisance for the opposition as the season progresses. Their hopes of staving off the threat of relegation are in the hands of Dyche. He is a master of pulling off great escapes, doing so on several occasions while at Burnley.
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