Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has conceded he has work to do to raise his players’ spirits after a 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest handed the Premier League title to Manchester City.
Saturday’s defeat confirmed City as champions for the third straight season and ended any hope the Gunners had of sealing an unexpected honour.
It was an unconventional setup from Arteta, who moved Thomas Partey to right-back and Jakub Kiwior out to the left, and the boss was keen to take responsibility for Arsenal‘s defeat after the game.
“First of all congratulations to Manchester City for winning the championship but it is a sad day for us,” he said. “Now we have to face the reality, today we gave a goal away and we were not good enough to break them down. We could play for three hours and we would not have done it.
“It is my responsibility and I take it. When it is beautiful great, when it isn’t, that is sport.
“The number of goals we have given to the opponents recently has cost us but we can’t put the guilt on someone. We should have been better as a team and in the last few weeks we have fallen short.
“This is football. It is a very sad day, we have been working for 11 months with that aim and have been on top for so many days. We have competed but we didn’t have enough.
“Now we must heal. It is very painful. I have to find a way to lift the players and we have a tough week ahead of us.”
Reflecting on the game, goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale added to BBC Sport: “The dust won’t settle until the summer. We are very disappointed how it has happened but we are proud we pushed all the way.
“One team in six seasons has beaten Manchester City to the title. But it was our own doing, individual errors in games we should have won. We were in a position to win those game.
“Credit to Forest, they were fighting for their lives. We knew the type of game it would be. We just couldn’t break them down. We lacked that magic moment and we got punished on the counter attack. We pushed and pushed but couldn’t break through them.”