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Arsenal ‘lost purpose’ in West Ham draw, says Arteta

Mikel Arteta said Arsenal “lost purpose” as he bemoaned his side’s squandering of a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 against West Ham on Sunday.

Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard put the Premier League leaders two goals up in the opening 10 minutes at the London Stadium.

But just seven days after blowing a 2-0 advantage in their 2-2 draw at Liverpool, the Gunners again cracked under the pressure of the title run-in.

Said Benrahma’s penalty reduced the deficit for West Ham before the interval.

Bukayo Saka missed a chance to restore Arsenal’s two-goal lead, firing a spot-kick wide early in the second half, before Jarrod Bowen volleyed in an equaliser for the hosts.

The Gunners, chasing their first Premier League title since 2004, are still four points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table but City have a game in hand.

“Very disappointing,” Arteta told Sky Sports. “The way we started was superb again, we were in total control, then we lost purpose.

“We gave them hope, conceded a terrible penalty, then credit to them. We got on the rollercoaster where everything is going, corners and throw-ins, and we never got away from that.

“The purpose we needed for a third and fourth goal, I didn’t see it.”

The Arsenal boss refused to single out Saka for blame after his penalty miss.

“A player who takes penalties misses penalties, I don’t know anyone who hasn’t,” he said.

When asked whether the pressure on his team had increased, in terms of the title race, he said: “It’s the same, I don’t know how many notches there were a few months ago. We can’t control it.”

West Ham boss David Moyes hailed a “great performance” from his team, who remain in relegation trouble.

“We were 2-0 down but to come back against Arsenal the way they are playing and, after playing on Thursday, is good,” he said.

“I thought we went quite hard early on but their play was good and we could have done better with tracking a couple of runners.

“The biggest thing was to make sure we got back and we did. We could have folded but the players kept going,” Moyes said.

“We get the penalty kick and that got us back in the game. That gave us a chance and made us feel like we could do it.”

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