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Mikel Arteta knows that Arsenal have a big task on their hands after a 2-1 loss to Everton left the Gunners without a Premier League victory in seven games.
Arsenal will drop to 16 at the end of the weekend if Brighton and Hove Albion defeat humble Sheffield United on Sunday.
The Gunners’ 14-point return from the same number of games this season is their worst record at this stage since the 1974-75 campaign (converted to three points per win).
Arteta’s side have been unable to score since open play in any of their last five Premier League away games, with their two goals on the road since Alexandre Lacazette’s goal against Liverpool from the penalty spot.
Nicolas Pepe restored parity from 12 yards after Rob Holding’s own goal put Everton ahead on Saturday, but Yerry Mina’s header at halftime was enough to claim a third straight win for Carlo Ancelotti and take them to second place.
Sunday marks a year since Arteta was appointed Arsenal manager. The Gunners have won more games in cup competition (14 of 17) than in the Premier League (13 of 34) in that span of time, and Pep Guardiola’s former assistant knows his team must fight their way out of the situation in which they are. .
“Without conceding much, we lost the game at two key moments,” Arteta, whose team made just two goal attempts at Goodison Park, told Sky Sports.
“We reacted very well. We dominate the game. We create enough opportunities at least not to lose. We hit the bar. We have no luck.
14 – Arsenal’s return of points in 14 games this season is their worst record at this stage since the 1974-75 campaign (12 points, converted to 3 / win). Desperate. pic.twitter.com/wowPbSkoXe
– OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 19, 2020
“We are in a great fight. We lost to Burnley without them shooting on target, and now we lose a couple of times.
“It’s really difficult when you play against a team that defends low and wastes time. We make it difficult for ourselves by conceding the first goal.
“I think we had 15 shots, but only two on target. We need to improve our rate, that is the reality. We need to generate more to win soccer games. When it comes to small details, the other team wants it more.
“The guys are absolutely still fighting. They are hurt right now. “
While Arsenal have lost as many league games as they won with Arteta (13 wins, 8 losses, 13 wins), Everton have clinched a place in the top four heading into Christmas since the 2004-05 season.
“We did very well [in our] latest games. Brilliant performances and fantastic results. We showed more consistency, ”Carlo Ancelotti told BBC Sport.
“This season we started well, then we had a difficult moment, but right now I am very happy.
“We are grateful; the position at the table is really good. But as I said last week, it is not the end of the season, we have to keep fighting, but today was a great performance.”
Both teams are in EFL Cup action below. Arsenal will face another of Arteta’s old clubs in the form of City on Tuesday, and Everton will host Manchester United a day later.