Arsenal forward Theo Walcott: I was to blame for Juan Mata's goal

Arsenal forward Theo Walcott says he was at fault for Juan Mata’s goal in the 1-1 draw at Manchester United on Saturday, but said the Gunners’ recovery showed they’re stronger than in previous seasons.

Arsenal's English midfielder Theo Walcott (R) vies with Manchester United's English midfielder Michael Carrick during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on November 19, 2016. / AFP / PAUL ELLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Walcott failed to close down Mata when he ran into the area unmarked to meet a pass in the 68th minute to give United a well-deserved lead with a left-footed finish.

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But Arsenal, who haven’t won in the Premier League at Old Trafford since 2006, levelled through Olivier Giroud in the 89th minute with the team’s first shot on target.

“I’m just disappointed because my positioning on the goal was disappointing from my side of it,” Walcott told Sky Sports. “Because defensively I want to (cover that). I’ve been doing that all season.

“I knew that was my man to get in there. So on a personal level that’s very disappointing for myself. But the guys, they did well and we managed to get that point that we deserved.”

It was an underwhelming performance from Arsenal, whose attack lacked sharpness throughout the game until Wenger brought on Giroud and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who delivered the cross the France striker met with a powerful header.

A win would have sent Arsenal nine points clear of United and sent them temporarily top of the standings, but they didn’t create a single clear scoring chance before Giroud’s goal.

Walcott acknowledged the team didn’t play as well as they have previously this season, but that they proved again that can still manage to get results and points.

“Maybe in years gone by we would have probably lost that game,” Walcott said. “We need to turn these draws into wins… But in years gone by this is a very tough place for us to play and we managed to get a result today.”


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