Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said “I thought we came out OK” following New Year’s Day loss to Arsenal.
Two first half goals from Nicolas Pepe and Sokratis handed the Gunners the victory, a first for new boss Mikel Arteta.
Talking to BT Sport after the encounter under fire Solskjaer admitted that Arsenal won the game by showing more quality than them.
“It was a game between two teams that have loads of quality. Arsenal showed it more than us in the first half and they won the game through that.
“I thought we came out OK, got two or three counter-attacks, but then they got into the game, maybe because we took a few many touches and they won the ball back off us. The two goals are disappointing to concede. Sometimes football is decided on little things but from 10 to 45 minutes they were better than us.
“We are fit and getting better. The boys have really worked hard over the past few months. We’ve had ups and downs and I can‘t fault them because the energy and drive has been there. Maybe today it caught up with us.”
The defeat leaves them fifth in the table, five points behind Chelsea, who drew with Brighton earlier in the day.
Meanwhile, Arteta hailed his charges saying that the performance was “perfect.”
“The performances are getting better and today was perfect. New year, new opportunity against a big club.
“You have to give everything, that is a must. Non-negotiable at a club like this. At the moment to maintain that intensity is not what they are used to. We will be able to do that soon for longer periods.
“The atmosphere I felt something different straight away, thank you to the fans.”
Victory for Arsenal ended a run of seven home games without a win in all competitions and lifted them to 10th place, four points behind United.
But they remain closer to the relegation zone than the top four.