Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey lamented his side’s early defensive error which gave Manchester City a definitive edge in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday, with the Sky Blues eventually running out 3-0 winners at Wembley and the Welshman admitted Pep Guardiola’s men deserved their triumph.
“Obviously we’re all very disappointed. We wanted to try and win the game but we made a silly mistake which led to the first goal and that was disappointing. It’s always difficult when they take the lead and they’re such a quality team. They deserved the win today,” Ramsey told the media after the Gunners’ loss at Wembley.
Arsenal’s shambolic defending in yet another high-profile game was slated by fans and pundits alike and while Ramsey admitted their performance wasn’t satisfactory, the Welshman was quick to point out that the runway Premier League leaders are not a regular outfit and losing to them was not a disgrace.
Gunners centre-back Shkodran Mustafi inexplicably let the ball run after the slightest of nudges from Sergio Aguero and the Argentine hitman promptly lobbed David Ospinia to give the Citizens the lead in the 18th minute.
Vincent Kompany would take advantage of some slack Arsenal defending by turning in Ilkay Gundogan’s cross-shot after a corner in the second-half, before David Silva made sure of the result with a fine finish in the 65th minute.
“I think Man City are a quality team and, like I said, they’ve opened up many teams this year. They did it on occasions to us today and they punished us every time. We’re disappointed. This is not how we wanted it to go, but we have to dust ourselves down now and get going for the game on Thursday” Ramsey stated.
Having scored the winner in Arsenal’s past two FA Cup triumphs, Ramsey was tipped to repeat his Wembley heroics by Arseanl fans on Sunday and while it was not to be so, the midfielder refused to blame a recent injury for his goalless display when asked whether his lack of playing time had hampered his performance on Sunday.
“No, I felt like I was ready to play the game. I’ve missed a little bit of training but I’ve worked hard this week to get back. I felt ready and it was just one of those days where things didn’t go right for us on the pitch,” Ramsey responded to a query on the topic of him being match-fit.
“We were determined from the beginning. We created a couple of opportunities and their keeper made a great save on one of them. Perhaps we could have taken the lead, but we can’t afford to concede goals in the way that we did today,” the hard-working midfielder added.
The Gunners will have the chance to exact revenge for their cup loss almost immediately as they host Pep Guardiola’s men in a Premier League fixture on Thursday night. Should the North Londoners beat the league leaders, they will reduce the gap between themselves and fifth-placed Chelsea to just five points while Tottenham Hotspur are a further two points ahead.
While they are still in the top-four race technically, it is unlikely that the Gunners will finish in the top-four with just 11 games (10 for the rest) left in the Premier League season.
They remain in contention for silverware in the UEFA Europa League and should they win the continental competition, they will secure a spot in next year’s UEFA Champions League, just as arch-rivals Manchester United did last season.