says his side’s performance – not the result – was the ‘most painful thing’ about Arsenal’s defeat to Manchester City.
’s side took a huge step towards retaining their crown with a comprehensive 4-1 win against the Gunners at the Etihad last Wednesday.
The game was billed as a title decider but at no point did Arsenal appear the equal of City, despite having a five-point lead going into the game.
Arsenal restored their lead at the top of the table on Tuesday by beating 3-1 at the Emirates, with Odegaard scoring twice.
Odegaard admits the ‘anger’ of the defeat to City helped to motivate Arsenal to see off their London rivals but he says their performance at the Etihad and the Gunners’ failure to ‘play their own game’ was more troubling.
‘Especially the first half [against Chelsea] was brilliant,’ said the Norwegian.
‘We came out and showed a different spirit to last time [the 4-1 loss to ].
‘I’m very happy with the first half, the second was a bit messy but three points and a good win and we needed this one.
‘Everyone was so hurt after the game [against City]. We used the anger and the disappointment to get back into this game.
‘You can lose games but the way we lost, we didn’t play our game and weren’t ourselves, that was the most painful thing, and we wanted to show a different side and we definitely did.’
Odegaard’s brace has taken the Norwegian’s tally to the season to 14, which is his best in Arsenal colours.
The playmaker admits he’s happy to chip in with more goals.
‘I just try to help the team,’ he said.
‘This year I’ve scored more goals, Granit with two good passes and that made it easier. I just tried to be in the right area and as soon as I see him attacking the space I just have to be in the right place.
‘In the second half we didn’t keep the ball enough. They went a bit more direct and after the duels we didn’t keep the ball.
‘We have to fight and keep going. We believe and will fight until the end.’
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