Per Mertesacker: Arsenal were ‘shocking’ in the first half

The Arsenal vice-captain admits that his side's performance left a lot to be desired at the Britannia

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff

Per Mertesacker described Arsenal’s performance as “shocking” during the first half of Saturday’s 3-2 defeat by Stoke City.

The Gunners found themselves 3-0 down at half-time after a poor first-half display at the Britannia Stadium.

And despite goals from Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey after the break, the north Londoners could not equalise.

“We nearly came back from a shocking first half,” Mertesacker told Arsenal Player. “We had to show some morale and some respect to our travelling fans.

“At half-time we said to ourselves, ‘we’re going to fight until the end no matter what happens’. That was the only positive thing. We’re not normally like that, so it’s a big regret.

“We have a few problems. We have had a couple of games in the last two weeks so we had to shuffle around a bit and sometimes when you’re not used to a position, you can find yourself one or two yards from the right position.

“That’s not an excuse – overall we lacked a lot of things, especially in the first half, and we tried to turn it around and keep our chins up to give ourselves a much better position.

“At the end, with 10 men, it was even more difficult but we kept going and tried everything.”

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