mikel arteta slams arsenal's against

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Aaron Ramsey's “unacceptable” performance against Crystal Palace led to a 3-0 loss that casts doubt on their top-four ambitions, according to Mikel Arteta.

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Arsenal were flat all night and received what they deserved. They are sixth on goal difference behind Spurs and, despite having a game in hand, must go to north London next month.

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“We weren’t at the races, especially in the first half,” Arteta said. “We were late to every ball, we were soft in the duels and we didn’t earn the right to play.

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We were sloppy on the ball and we didn’t have any dominance, any sequences of play where we could take some control of the game and we conceded two poor goals [before half-time].

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Asked whether he had seen the defeat coming, Arteta said Arsenal had failed to heed his warnings before the game. “No, I could not see it,” he said.

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“We discussed it just before kick-off, the way you win here is when you compete the way you should. That means you win duels have composure on the pitch to manage certain situations.

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They are a really physical team and the pitch is not the best to do that, so you have to find a way to do other things that usually you don’t have to do. We didn’t manage to do that.”

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Kieran Tierney, who could miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, was absent and Thomas Partey departed early in a development that clearly concerned Arteta.

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