LONDON: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta praised his side’s belief after they fought back from 2-0 down to earn a 2-2 Premier League draw at Chelsea on Saturday (Oct 21) and keep their unbeaten streak intact.
For much of the match, Arsenal’s usually buoyant and confident side looked heavy footed and slow against an energetic Chelsea team.
Chelsea went ahead though a 15th-minute Cole Palmer penalty and made it two three minutes into the second half with a lofted strike by Mykhailo Mudryk.
“The way the players reacted to (Chelsea’s)the second goal is phenomenal,” Arteta said. “That’s the part I loved.”
“The start of the game, we didn’t play with enough purpose and clarity,” he told Sky Sports. “We didn’t win enough duels in tight areas…When we don’t have those two things we become an average team.
Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino, who has a close relationship with Arteta after the two played together for Paris St Germain more than 20 years ago, said the result was two points lost rather than a point gained against a top side.
Until Declan Rice scored following a distribution mistake by Chelsea keeper Robert Sanchez, Chelsea were in complete charge.
“His goal gave the belief to Arsenal with 13 minutes to play,” Pochettino told reporters.
“Because until the 77th minute, the game was in control and we didn’t concede too many chances. I feel disappointed because we drop two points.”
Leandro Trossard grabbed Arsenal’s second with six minutes to play as Chelsea’s defence flagged.
The Argentine said he did not want to dwell on mistakes.
“We watch every week and always mistakes because football is about mistakes. I think 90 per cent of goals is because an opponent makes a mistake.”
“We can only criticise a little bit reading the game better, better tempo, the timing. We can take risks because it’s our philosophy but make better decisions.” he said.
Arsenal moved back to second in the table behind leaders Manchester City on goal difference. Chelsea climbed to ninth.