Mikel Arteta reacts to David Raya’s error in Arsenal’s win over Spurs | Football

David Raya was largely at fault for Cristian Romero’s goal against Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta has praised Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya for the way he reacted to his embarrassing blunder in the side’s 3-2 win over bitter rivals Tottenham.

The Gunners appeared to be cruising towards a comfortable victory as Bukayo Saka struck after Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s own goal to give the visitors a healthy lead inside half an hour at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Kai Havertz headed past Vicario to make it three in the 38th minute, as Arsenal once again wreaked havoc from a corner, and some Spurs supporters were pictured leaving before the halfway stage in north London.

But Tottenham picked themselves up off the floor to give Mikel Arteta’s men an almighty scare and Raya was largely at fault for allowing the home team a route back into the match.

With the Premier League leaders cruising, William Saliba passed the ball back to Raya and the Spaniard inexplicably dinked the ball straight to Cristian Romero, who made no mistake from the edge of the box to pull a goal back for the hosts.

It was the first time Raya had conceded away from home in over ten hours and the Arsenal shot-stopper was visibly furious with himself for gifting the opposition a glimmer of hope at a crucial stage in the game.

However, the Gunners managed to hold on after Son Heung-min’s penalty set up an absorbing finish and Arteta applauded his players for the way they were able to withstand the pressure and ‘dig in’ at the death.

Romero capitalised on Raya’s mistake (Picture: Getty)

Romero capitalised on Raya’s mistake (Picture: Getty)

‘It was a really emotional game. Very tough place to come, obviously an incredible atmosphere at the stadium and a great team to play against,’ the Arsenal head coach told reporters at his post-match press conference.

‘At 3-0 up you’re in control of the game. We come into the second half and we were dominating the game and creating chances.

‘And then, yeah, an individual error happens that clicks something, it puts a wrong message in your brain.

The result sent Arsenal four points clear at the top of the table (Picture: Getty)

‘But I think we started to deal with the situation better.

‘Another one and then it’s game on and they have the players and the courage to commit a lot of players forward.

‘We had to dig in, suffer, react and I’m very pleased with the way my team has done it.’

Arteta praised Raya’s reaction at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (Picture: Getty)

Arteta admitted he ‘didn’t like’ the sequence of play that led to Romero’s goal but argued that Raya deserved great credit for his ‘sensational’ reaction in the final 20 minutes.

Asked for his take on Raya’s error, Arteta replied: ‘It’s part of football.

‘It’s a sequence of play, I don’t like it, I don’t like the principles that we apply in that moment and the orientation of the ball.

‘After that, that can happen, you misjudge the situation, you try to make the pass and you don’t and you are in doubt. They scored to take advantage of that.

Havertz scored to make it three for the Gunners before the halfway stage (Picture: Getty)

‘The penalty is another principle inside the box that you cannot do. It’s part of football.

‘What I love is that David does that [the mistake], he picks Gabriel Magalhaes up – that is quite heavy! – and then he was sensational in the last 20 to 25 minutes of the game.

‘This is what I love about our players.’

In his post-match interview with Sky Sports, Arteta insisted Arsenal were ‘lucky’ to have a goalkeeper of Raya’s quality in their ranks.

‘We are lucky to have the ‘keeper that we have because he made an individual error, but afterwards, the way he played was outstanding.

‘The first thing he did was lift Gabriel Magalhaes from the floor so he said, “I own this moment, I’m going to make a step forward”, and he was magnificent.’

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