Was this a case of one simple mistake costing you?
“Of course, and maybe, I don’t know if we should have to go ta penalty for handball in front of the line to save a clear goal. It was not even checked, then you concede a goal like this and you cannot score from your biggest chances.
“But in the end, we were not on the pitch with the same energy. It’s not easy to come up with big intensity with same passing. We were not sharp enough, not with the same energy, hunger, attitude, and like we used to play. So it’s on us. It was totally unnecessary but it’s the reality.”
Were there similarities in this defeat to the West Brom game here?
“Well against West Brom we were 1-0 up and then with 10 men, and we were not fully concentrated after the international break. That was West Brom. It was a really freak game because we won all statistics, even expected goals.
“It’s an easy one to say that this is a totally lucky win and nobody can argue with that, it is not a deserved win, not at all for Arsenal. But I don’t want to go there 100% because we all lacked the right concentration and focus. That is very unusual.
“Maybe I gave some signals to the team today with the changes that Saturday is on my mind. Even if that’s one percent or five, percent this is not how we approach things because you get punished. You can’t be naive in the race for the top four. It’s hard to swallow, hard to accept, but there’s no other way.”
Do you think Billy Gilmour can continue his development here at Chelsea next season or does he maybe need to go on loan?
“Well, that was an absolutely okay performance. We saw they defended so deep, so we wanted to have Mason who has a better shot from 20 metres to maybe be more dangerous from distance and have an offensive player like Mason there. It wasn’t because Billy was bad that we took him off. It was a tactical change where we tried to put more offensive power.
“For Billy’s situation, we will talk after the season. Right not he is here and is doing his job. It’s clear it’s very hard for him because we lacked today N’Golo and Mateo Kovacic in midfield and they are huge for us. It’s not fair to this all on his shoulders but he did a fantastic match at [Man City] and an absolutely ok match today. He was certainly not the problem.”
You started Kepa tonight, is that to give him some game time ahead of the FA Cup final or as a sweetener because he’s not going to play?
“No, no. He starts the cup final and we thought it was a good idea to give him the game before. We trust him and he deserves it, that is the basis why we put him in the line-up.
“He deserves it. He is so close and good in training. We wanted to give him some minutes and to take both games together. It was an unlucky night for him as well.”
How hard is it for Callum Hudson-Odoi and Olivier Giroud to show their best form?
“It is not hard. They are professionals for Chelsea, it is the opposite of hard. They have the best situation that you can have as footballers. As a striker sometimes two minutes can change a whole life and career. It is not hard at all.
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“They deserve to come on, deserve to play. Had a chance to play it was super tough, but this is how it is. You sign up for the biggest challenge, you sign up for one of the toughest competitions within a team and we cannot let everybody start so once I have the feeling they can help us from the bench it is like this.
“When I have the feeling they can help us from the start I will play them from the start. It is nothing you cannot handle. They work hard for this and everything is ok. I am sad because I thought maybe they could have the magic touch today to help us to win at least a point, but it is not their fault.”