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Arteta ‘can’t blame the spirit’ of Arsenal players as scoring struggles continue

Gunners coach believes his side were too tired to go through their opponents’ defense in Thursday’s Premier League meeting

Mikel Arteta was pleased with Arsenal’s spirit despite a 0-0 home draw against Crystal palace Thursday.

Although the north London team extended their unbeaten run to five games and retained their fourth straight clean sheet, they were unable to breach the palace defense, registering four shots on target in 90 minutes.

This is the seventh time the Gunners have failed to score in a Premier League game this season, matching their number of scoreless performances in the entire 2019-20 campaign. The last time they couldn’t find the net in more games in a single season was in 2015-16.

Arteta admits his team failed to create enough chances, but says his players were tired as they came up against a stubborn back line.

“It lacked freshness and quality in the last third. We had a lot of starts in the last third but not big, big chances,” he told Sky Sports after the game.

“I wanted to see a win today and score a few goals but we were tired. We gave the ball away but I have no complaints on the mind. It was not enough.

“Kieran Tierney is a real threat and the way we attack on the left is really important but he’s injured and we have to find a solution. He will have an MRI tomorrow.

“Roy Hodgson has been doing that throughout his career, that’s how they beat a lot of big teams. We had the plan, we just didn’t have the execution.”

He added: “We created a lot of situations against the low block but we didn’t have the final quality. We probably didn’t do enough to win the game.

“We play a lot of games and you can see fatigue pays a price, a lot of players are not fresh.

“We had a fatugue period where we kept giving the ball away. We lacked quality in the final third to win the game.”

Arsenal are in action again next Monday when they host Newcastle and then face an away game against Southampton January 26.

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