Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta is in utter disbelief after his side lost 3-0 at home against Premier League defending champions Liverpool. He admits that he is in "shock" and thinks that his team's performance was completely "unacceptable."
Arsenal is sitting in 9th place in the league table, 9 points adrift of the top four. With only eight games remaining in the season, it is likely that the Gunners can count themselves out of the UEFA Champions League and may not even make it into the Europa League.
Even though Liverpool are the defending champions, they have been struggling this season, especially on their away games. It is a slump that Arsenal was looking forward to taking advantage of, but the Reds stepped up on Saturday and gave the hosts a thrashing.
"They were much better than us in every single department. I'm fully responsible for that," said Arteta, as quoted by the BBC. "We want to apologise, to our people and our fans."
Arteta says that he did not expect to be beaten in such a manner, and takes full responsibility for the disaster. "For sure we cannot hit that level again. To represent this football club and people who love this club, that was not acceptable. You have to stand up and take the challenge. It's my job to make things better. Today we hit a really low level," he added.
Meanwhile, the season has not been a complete disaster for the Gunners just yet. Despite a dismal showing in the Premier League, they are still in contention to lift this season's Europa League trophy.
They will be facing Slavia Prague at home in the first leg of their quarter-final encounter on Thursday. If they are able to progress and eventually win the tournament, that will at least qualify them into the Champions League next season.
It will take a lot to salvage the campaign, but it's not over yet and Arteta may still be able to turn things around. However, the players seem to have lost faith in his tactics based on their body language on the pitch last night. It remains to be seen if they will be able to find the motivation to climb out of the hole they now find themselves in.