Martin Odegaard has told his Arsenal team-mates that there is no time to feel sorry for themselves despite Monday’s “terrible” performance at Crystal Palace.
The Gunners suffered only their second defeat in nine Premier League games but were thoroughly outclassed in all departments by Patrick Vieira’s hosts.
A 3-0 loss on the road coupled with a 5-1 win for Tottenham over Newcastle on Sunday saw Arsenal drop to fifth and lose ground in the battle for Champions League qualification.
“It was a terrible game from us from start to finish. Maybe a bit better in the last 10 minutes, but in general I think it was a really bad performance,” Odegaard admitted.
“We should have done much better, but there is no time to feel sorry for ourselves. We have to get back to work and think about the next game already.
“This is tough but we have to look forward. We have to learn from it obviously. We have to look at the game, what we did wrong, and make sure it won’t happen again.”
Goals from Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jordan Ayew put Palace in control inside 24 minutes with Gabriel Magalhaes and Nuno Tavares not covering themselves in glory for either goal.
Wilfried Zaha added a third from the penalty spot in the 74th minute after Odegaard had brought down the Ivory Coast winger moments after the Arsenal playmaker had squandered a fine chance to reduce the deficit.
The Norway captain paid tribute to the away support at Selhurst Park and promised a response at home to Brighton on Saturday.
Odegaard added: “I think the fans were again brilliant here, cheering us on and I feel sorry for them.
“We have to apologise and we have got to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Hopefully next game we are back with a win.”
Hours before Arsenal’s chastening loss in south London, a date was finally confirmed for the trip to Tottenham, postponed in January after Mikel Arteta’s side were without a sufficient amount of players due to injuries, Covid-19 cases and international commitments.
The rearranged fixture will take place on Thursday, May 12 – the third-from-last game of the season – and already looks like it could be a decider in the battle for fourth.
“That’s really far ahead,” Odegaard insisted when quizzed about the Spurs match.
“We have to take it game by game, as we have said many times before. The next game for us is Brighton and that’s all our focus at the moment. We take it game by game and we will see in the end.”