Mikel Arteta lauded his Arsenal players for their tenacity in making a comeback to salvage a 3-3 draw against Southampton, stating that his love for them has grown even stronger.
Arsenal had to settle for a draw in Friday’s match at Emirates Stadium, as they fell behind by two goals within the first 14 minutes.
Gabriel Martinelli rekindled hope for Arsenal just before half-time, responding after Carlos Alcaraz had scored a goal and assisted another for Theo Walcott, but then Duje Caleta-Car headed in the third goal for Southampton.
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However, Martin Odegaard demonstrated skill by curling in a remarkable goal in the 88th minute, and Bukayo Saka brought Arsenal back to level terms during added time, preventing the Premier League’s bottom-ranked team from winning.
The Gunners have now dropped points in three successive matches, but Arteta was pleased with the way his side fought back against Southampton.
“We made it very difficult again for ourselves – mistakes are part of football, but the way we reacted, I love my players more than ever,” Arsenal manager told Sky Sports.
“It is incredible. We were on the way back, we conceded again with a sloppy goal but in the end we should have won the game.
“We created enough chances and opportunities, but it didn’t happen and we are disappointed.”
Arsenal has drawn in their last three games, resulting in a loss of 6 points, which has allowed City to close the gap.
Arteta continued:“You can’t concede three goals in this league. If you concede three like we did in a sloppy way it is very difficult to win matches.
“This young team reacts in a way that is incredible. When it is against the odds but the chances they created and the spirit they had it was a joy to watch.
Arsenal manager added:“The message is clear that I love them. We are down and they are more willing than anybody to win it. You can see that spirit and fight in the dressing room.”