Mikel Arteta challenges Arsenal to stand up and be counted

Mikel Arteta has urged his Arsenal players to stand up and ensure one result does not wreck their season after Sunday’s 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium.

Goals from Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins condemned the Gunners to their first Premier League loss since New Year’s Eve and means Manchester City will lift the Premier League title for the fifth time in six seasons if they win their final six matches.

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Arsenal now face a defining week as they travel to Bayern Munich on Wednesday with their Champions League quarte-final tie poised at 2-2 before a difficult trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers, who beat both City and Tottenham Hotspur at home earlier this season.

Asked if there was a danger their season could quickly fizzle out, Arteta replied: “If one result is going to do that then we are not strong enough. That’s very simple. We had one of the best performances that we’ve had all season in the first half against a really good team.

“It should have been three or four or more. It didn’t happen. In the second half the momentum shifted. We could not control and generate what we did in the first half. We conceded two very poor goals and we lost the game.

“Congratulate the opponent and stand up. Now the moment is to stand up and be counted. When you win and win and win for four months it’s very simple to do it. The moment to do it is now.

“We don’t have any other solution. If you want to win championships, if you want to be there in the Champions League, when you have these moments you have to stand up. If not that means that you don’t have a quality that is very necessary.

“Now it’s a big test for us.”