Mikel Arteta acknowledged Arsenal have to accept criticism and apologise after they were thumped 3-0 by Crystal Palace in a demoralising London derby defeat.
Arsenal saw their hopes of finishing in the Premier League top four damaged on Monday as their run of five straight top-flight away wins ended in emphatic fashion.
Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jordan Ayew had Palace two goals up inside 24 minutes and a second-half penalty from Wilfried Zaha ended any hopes of a Gunners comeback.
The defeat leaves Arsenal fifth in the table, behind rivals Tottenham on goal difference, though they still do have a game in hand.
“From the beginning we were not at the races,” Arsenal boss Arteta said to Sky Sports.
“When you come here you have to compete. You have to win duels and second balls and be aggressive – we were none of those.
“On top of that we were really poor on the ball. We were really inconsistent on the ball and that is unacceptable.
“It is time to accept the criticism, put your hand up and apologise because this performance was not good enough for this club and then react.
“Congratulations to Palace because they deserved to win for the game they played. They always play like this.
“We are humble enough to accept the criticism. You don’t feel sorry for yourself because we lost players and a football match.
“We made it impossible for ourselves with the way we competed. You have to be physical and run and then you earn the right to play.
“We were poor, especially in the first half. I apologise to our supporters. We didn’t have the presence or the composure to dominate the situation so that is what I’m most annoyed with.”
1 – Crystal Palace have secured their first home Premier League victory of 2022 (P5 W0 D2 L3 before tonight), with this their first league win at Selhurst Park since beating Norwich 3-0 at the end of December. Energetic. pic.twitter.com/SRo8DFmPwy
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 4, 2022
Arsenal had 12 shots compared to Palace’s six, yet the hosts got five of their attempts on target with the Gunners only testing Vicente Guaita three times.
Arteta added: “When we had the big chances we didn’t score to give ourselves the best chance to get back in the game.
“We tried in the second half, we had three or four big chances but the only half chance they had they got a penalty.
“First of all we need to put our hands up and get the criticism we deserve. Then we accept it, look ourselves in the mirror and look to the next game.
“This was not good enough. Some days you are not there and you are late all the time. They got on top of it and had a good atmosphere and we could not get out.
“We have to face the challenge and the opportunity is in our hands. We have to be honest with ourselves and support each other.”
The loss was the first time Arsenal had been beaten by three or more goals in a Premier League London derby since suffering a defeat by the same scoreline to Palace in 2017, while the Eagles have now scored seven goals across their last two games in all competitions without conceding in return.
Arsenal have won just one of their last eight Premier League clashes with Palace (D5 L2), after winning nine of the 11 before that (D1 L1).
Arteta’s side will look to bounce back when they host Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.