I think the mentality of the players was outstanding
It all ended all square against Arsenal this afternoon with Chris Wood equalising for the Clarets in a 1-1 draw but it was anything but good enough for visiting manager Mikel Arteta.
“I’m really disappointed with the result, but the reality is that we generated so many big chances but only scored one goal,” Arteta told his club’s website. “When you do that and then you give a goal to the opponent, like we did, then you don’t get the referee’s decision when it’s clear and obvious, then it becomes really difficult to win a football match.
“We talked about it, but they do it really well. They started to stop every goal kick, every set piece, put the ball away, they played long balls, second balls. They are really good at that. When we started to play our game again in the last 15 minutes, we created some big chances and a clear penalty, but we could not convert.”
He was reluctant to offer any when he was asked whether he had to congratulate us for defending so well. All he could say was: “There were open situations that we created. One-v-one situations, cut backs in the box. We hit the bar, the post, we got a shot blocked when their goalkeeper was already beaten. But as well, when you come here and you want to be one of the top teams, you have to come here and win the game comfortably. We haven’t done it because of the chance, because we gave a goal to the opponent and because you need the decisions and we didn’t get them.”
I think it is fair to say that Sean Dyche was a little happier than Arteta. He said after the game: “We’ve had to work very hard and I’m pleased in the end. I think the mentality of the players was outstanding, as it was during the week.
“We’ve given everything to the cause and you can see at the end, where people are putting bodies on the line, what it means, We were very strong in the second half against Leicester and didn’t get the win we arguably deserved.
Asked about our goal, brought about as Arsenal played out from the back, Dyche said: “It’s modern football and everyone has the right to play how they wish to. We have pressed well all day, and we’ve got our reward for putting our bodies in the way of a pass. It’s a goal out of nothing but it’s not really because it’s good intent and tactical pressing from the side.”
It did look, fleetingly, as if we’d picked up our first red card in over 26 months when Erik Pieters was adjudged to have handled on the line only for it to be rescinded by VAR.
“Even from a distance I thought it would have been harsh because the ball is going at hundred miles per hour so it wouldn’t have been anything deliberate. VAR clearly showed it came off his shoulder and I was just amazed that the ref had his card out within a millisecond. I thought he might have given himself a few seconds to think it through, but then again, that’s what VAR is for and it did its job.
“I did think it was a penalty at the other end when Matěj had his heels clipped, but we know our record on penalties, season on season, and if we dived and squealed more we might get more.
“However, it’s another good point and we’ve come a long way from having two points after seven games. I don’t believe there was any panic here because that doesn’t serve you well. The mentality of the side does, and we’ve got to go again next week before we bizarrely have three weeks off instead of two.
“We are certainly in there fighting and delivering with performances that we think can be effective.”Follow UpTheClarets:
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