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Soccer-Arteta backs Arsenal to show fighting spirit after defeat by Villa

Nov 9 (Reuters) - Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said he expects a strong response from his players when they return to Premier League action following their 3-0 home defeat by Aston Villa on Sunday.

Ollie Watkins scored twice in the second half after Bukayo Saka’s own goal after 25 minutes as inconsistent Arsenal fell to their fourth defeat from eight matches this season to sit 11th in the table with 12 points.

"I'd like to have a game tomorrow morning to get this one out of the system. But... in difficult and bad moments, you get a lot of things," Arteta told the club website here on Sunday.

“I want to see how people react, how players react and if we start to blame each other or if we just look at ourselves in the mirror and then try to become much better than what we’ve shown tonight, which we are.

“Then, after that, get everybody back together and get the fighting spirit, the belief and the commitment that we’ve shown since I got here, into every game.”

Arsenal great Ian Wright said that it was among the worst performances he had seen from an Arsenal side.

“It was poor in every department. They need to break the lines, they need space to hit the ball into, they were dithering on the ball,” Wright told the BBC.

“It was a million miles away from the performance against Manchester United (where they won 1-0). They were streets ahead of us today.”

Arsenal travel to Leeds United on Nov. 22 after the league resumes following the international break. (Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Michael Perry)

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