Arsenal players feel 'really down' after unthinkable Southampton defeat, says Arteta

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Despite notching some dominant statistical figures at St Mary's Stadium, the Gunners could not overcome their hosts

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal's players are "really down" after their failure to turn a dominant tactical performance into points, as Southampton held on for a smash-and-grab 1-0 victory in the Premier League.

The Gunners were vastly superior on a statistical level when compared to their hosts at St Mary's Stadium, particularly in the second half when they were chasing the game after Jan Bednarek's opener before the break, notching a 83 per cent possession figure and 19 shots.

But they were unable to crack Saints open thanks to a stern performance from Ralph Hasenhuttl's side, and Arteta admitted that he found their defeat almost unthinkable after the full-time whistle.

What has been said?

"I'm very frustrated and disappointed because when you see what happened on the pitch, to concede and lose the football match I think it's very difficult scenario to imagine," Arteta told his post-match press conference.

"We tried to do everything that we could have done in the best possible way, I can not fault the attitude of the players.

"I think it's the opposite, the way they played as well but at the end of the day you have to put the ball in the net in the opponent's half and we didn't for various reasons."

Arteta hails Forster performance

One reason the Spaniard cited for his side's failure to come up on the right side of the result was Saints goalkeeper Fraser Forster, who turned in one of his most impressive performances between the posts this season.

"Their keeper was exceptional," he added of the England international. "The amount of situations that we created, we needed more quality to finish them off.

"[The players] are really down today and they are down because they cannot find the right answer - apart from what we can do better around the box - not to win that match."

The bigger picture

Arsenal's top-four hopes have nosedived of late, with the Gunners sustaining three straight defeats to drop behind Tottenham and Manchester United.

They do carry a game in hand, but Spurs boast a superior goal differential.

So, the Southampton loss can be viewed as a potential death blow to their ambitions, particularly as Tottenham's loss earlier in the day had given them the perfect chance to improve their position.

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