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4-4-2 Arteta tactics ‘can’t fault the spirit’ of Arsenal players as scoring struggles continue

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The Gunners coach feels his side were too tired to get through their opponents’ defence in Thursday’s Premier League encounter

Mikel Arteta was happy with Arsenal’s spirit despite drawing 0-0 at home against Crystal Palace on Thursday.

Arteta

Although the north London side extended their unbeaten run to five games and kept their fourth consecutive clean sheet, they were unable to breach the Palace defence, registering four shots on target over the 90 minutes.

It is the seventh time the Gunners have failed to score in a Premier League match this season, equalling their number of goalless performances in all of the 2019-20 campaign. The last time they were unable to find the net in more matches in a single season was in 2015-16.

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

“Some freshness and quality in the final third was missing. We had a lot of entries into the final third but no big, big chances,” he told Sky Sports after the game.

“I wanted to see a win today and to score a few goals but we were fatigued. We gave the ball away, but I cannot fault the spirit. It wasn’t enough.

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

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“Roy Hodgson has done that all through his career, that is 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 lacked the final quality. We probably didn’t do enough to win the game.

“We are playing a lot of games and you can see fatigue is paying a price, many players aren’t fresh.

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

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

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