Arsene Wenger must lift the mood of his players for the tough test that follows at Manchester City following the disappointing defeat at Everton in the Premier League midweek.
Arsenal took the lead through a deflected free-kick from Alexis Sanchez and seemed to be in total domination of their hosts.
But the Goodison Park outfit rallied and managed to snatch a goal just before there break through an unlikely header from Seamus Coleman to make it 1-1 at the interval.
Wenger’s men had chances to take the lead but it was Ronald Koeman’s side who garnered all three points when Phil Jagielka rose unopposed in the area to head home a late, late winner.
The defeat means Arsenal have failed to keep a clean sheet in 11 successive games, and Frenchman Wenger admits his players were defected after the game.
“I don’t think we deserved to lose the game but we were caught on two headers. Especially on the first one we were guilty. We controlled Romelu Lukaku well but two defenders scored. Maybe we made it easy for them when they became more physical. They played a real cup game.”
“They defended well even when we controlled the game. We created chances but not too many were clear-cut. We battled hard. We put everything in and the players are very disappointed.”
The Gunners go to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday to face Pep Guardiola’s outfit and Wenger knows the game has taken on even more importance with the fact that league leaders Chelsea won against Sunderland in the Premier League last night.
It means Arsenal are now third in the table on the same points as second-placed Liverpool, who won 3-0 at Middlesbrough last night, and, significantly, six points behind the Blues.
City are in fourth spot having picked up three points with their 2-0 victory at home over Watford and will look to see off Arsenal to give their assault on the top flight crown a boost.