North London club Arsenal suffered a major blow in the Premier League title race on Tuesday as Watford secured a stunning Emirates Stadium victory courtesy of goals from Younes Kaboul and Troy Deeney.
The 2-1 victory over Gunners ended a Hornets’ winless streak which lasted since 10 December, whereas it also pushed Arsenal further down in the standings to third place in the table.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was watching his side succumb to their first defeat in 2017 from the stands as the French tactician continues to serve his touchline suspension, but he was far from impressed with his team’s dismal performance.
The Gunners failed to build on Alex Iwobi’s consolation goals and were unable to struck another late goal, which has in a way become their trademark play this season, and Arsene Wenger slammed the mentality of his men after the defeat.
“I think we were not mentally ready to deal with the duel that we usually do.”
“You don’t make 47 points in the Premier League after 23 games if you have no physical power. But you have to switch it on at 100% every time in the Premier League, that’s what it is about. It was not good in the first half, especially in the first 20 minutes. We were beaten in the duels, they were sharper than us”, said Wenger, claiming his team also lacked luck.
“I felt we were unlucky to concede a free-kick and then it was deflected too”, he added.
Arsenal face another stern challenge in the Premier League at the weekend as they travel to Stamford Bridge on Saturday to face Premier League leaders Chelsea, who are coming off from a 1-1 draw with Liverpool.
Arsenal are likely to be without key player Aaron Ramsey, who picked up a calf injury.
The Gunners will be eager to make a statement and get back with a bang, although they are currently nine points behind their rivals and another defeat would definitely rule them out of the Premier League title race and even put a serious dent in their top 4 chances.