After the match, though, Arteta felt compelled to lash out at what he felt was an unfair interpretation of pre-match comments in which he appeared to suggest some Arsenal players weren’t giving their all.
“Nothing is broken inside,” Arteta said to Sky Sports. “I don’t know how they want to try from the outside. They try to put things on me that I never said.
“You can see the spirit of the team from the first minute. You can never doubt the efforts.
“I said if I don’t get 120 per cent off each player it’s my fault and responsibility. It wasn’t like this in the press. I’m so annoyed by that.
“My players, I will defend them from everybody for the rest of the time I’m here. They don’t deserve that.”
Arteta added on the press: “They’re not going to break it [the team’s bond]. They can try but they’re not going to break it.
“Not only with the players, but the coaching staff and the board – they can’t touch it. If they try to touch it it can be with opinions but not saying something I never said.
“I’m not taking that. It’s the first time I have to make my point.”
The Arsenal boss seemed to suggest that some of his players had let him down by not offering their maximum effort this season.
Asked if his players had given their all, Arteta replied: “With the majority of them, yes.
“Some of them can get to a certain level and you cannot push them any further. You want to evolve them but it’s not possible.
“When I said a majority, I did not say all of them. Some have a big contribution to make to those results.”