“We have to make that gap smaller and smaller and really quickly.”
Arteta felt Arsenal’s downfall was ultimately a lack of sharpness and admitted his side were fatigued both physically and psychologically after wins over Liverpool and City.
“I think they gave absolutely everything,” he continued. “You could see how aggressive they were in every duel, every time we lost the ball in our high press.
“We lacked a little bit of freshness, you could see in the final third against a very low block, we dominated the game but struggled a little bit to get that quality and that creativity and it’s something we need to improve as a team.
“Obviously when you give another set-piece away it makes things difficult. But congratulations to Villa, they were put under a lot of pressure as well and they managed to win the game.
“We were in some really good positions but we didn’t deliver the right ball. We had the right numbers in the right positions but we lacked that.