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Mikel Arteta laments VAR absence but takes responsibility for Arsenal loss at West Ham

Mikel Arteta refused to use a lack of VAR as an excuse for Arsenal’s defeat by West Ham in the Carabao Cup.

The Gunners were beaten 3-1 at the London Stadium and Arteta afterwards took responsibility for the loss.

Arsenal went behind in the first half to an own goal by Ben White and replays showed how Tomas Soucek was pulling goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale's shirt.

Arteta believes the goal would have been ruled out if VAR was in use, which it isn’t until the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup, but added that was no excuse for this loss.

“If there’s VAR, there’s no goal for sure,” he said. “I understand for the referees it’s difficult because of the angle and the number of people there.

“But again, I don’t want to use that as an excuse. We can still compete for the ball much better than we did and in that position.

“Obviously that takes [away] something in the game which is very important - momentum.”

Arteta made six changes to his team for this fourth round tie, handing a number of players a chance to shine.

They failed to impress, but the Spaniard took the blame himself for Arsenal’s below-par performance.

“Very disappointed. I’m responsible for that,” he said. “We’re out of the cup and we wanted to play a very different game.

“Especially we wanted to compete in a very different way, the way we discussed for 48 hours, in a very different way to what we’ve done.

“There are no messages to send. Whatever messages we send, we send them with words. We don’t have to send them in a different way.

“We have tried to put a team out that we believed was the best to compete today and in the right way to start the game.

“The game took a direction obviously because of the first goal - and we can discuss that. After that we still have to see much more from the team to earn the right to win here.

“Every time you lose a game the pain is there. We have to use this pain for Saturday that’s for sure.”