Mikel Arteta reiterates love for Arsenal players after narrow defeat to Everton

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta reacted to the Gunners’ 1-0 defeat to Everton by declaring he ‘loves’ his players more than ever.

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Arteta’s side succumbed to their first defeat in 14 league games this season as a Sean Dyche inspired Everton team secured all three points at Goodison Park.

Dyche's side scored the winning goal in the second half after James Tarkowski headed in Dwight McNeil's corner.

After the game Arteta insisted that his team’s pursuit of the league title still has a long way to go, urging his players to stick after the surprise result.

“I want the team to know how much I love them,” said Arteta.

“I love them much more now than three hours ago, a week ago, a month ago, three months ago.

“It’s very easy to be next to the players when they’re winning and performing. These are the moments when I love my players more and my staff more and we’re going to stay together.

“This journey is going to be difficult and challenging and there’s going to be big stones in the middle and we have to overcome that. I’m so proud to coach these players.”

Manchester City could cut Arsenal’s lead down to two points if they beat Tottenham on Sunday afternoon.

The Gunners will face Brentford next Saturday in the Premier League as they look to get back to winning ways.