Mikel Arteta has taken full responsibility for Arsenal’s “unique” defeat to Aston Villa.
The Gunners were left stunned by the West Midlands side as they came away with a 3-0 win in north London.
Dean Smith’s side put pressure on them straightaway, with John McGinn finding the net in the first minute – only to be ruled out for offside.
But the side that had beaten Liverpool 7-2 last month did not rest on their laurels and forced an own goal from Bukayo Saka after 25 minutes.
Despite Arsenal getting back into the game and threatening former goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, two strikes from Ollie Watkins with 15 minutes left ended any chance of a comeback.
Mikel Arteta has taken responsibility for Arsenal’s unique defeat to Aston Villa
(Image: 2020 Getty Images)
And Arteta said it was the first time he had seen his side play in such a manner.
Speaking to Sky Sports , the Gunners boss said: “First of all congratulations to Aston Villa for the way they played and the victory.
“After that, we performed below our standards and I have to say it’s the first time I’ve seen us play and we weren’t a team.
“I take full responsibility. We didn’t start well enough, we got away with VAR for an offside situation but we lost all the races, the duels and we were sloppy on the ball.
The Gunners were beaten 3-0 by Aston Villa at their own ground
(Image: ANDY RAIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
“When we created chances we didn’t hit the target. It’s a really bad combination. We left spaces and on the counter we looked really vulnerable.
“I take full responsibility. I am responsible to make the team perform on the pitch and today we were not a team and it is my job. It is why I am standing here.
“It is a frustration. It takes a lot to build momentum, to build a way of being, living and performing and when something like that comes up it’s a hard one to take but in a hard moment…