Mikel Arteta believes Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat against Liverpool was a ‘slap on the face’ and could help his side bounce back to reality.

The Gunners were heavily criticised for their abysmal performance against a not so good Liverpool this season and Arteta says they deserve all the criticism following that awful performance.

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Arsenal will host Slavia Prague on Thursday for the first leg of the Europa League quarter-final and Arteta believes it’s time to respond on the pitch and show what they can do.

“I think we have to respect every opinion and when there is criticism coming after that performance we have to take it on the chin because we fully deserve it,” he said.

“It’s time to respond on the pitch and show what we can do. When we are at full gas we are a very good side. But the whole team and myself have to put in a better performance than we did against Liverpool.

“I cannot criticise the work ethic of my players and I have never done that. It’s not about whether they want to run or want to try, my demands are about hitting their goals and getting to their best level – in the past two days I have seen that.

“That’s why it was a big shock what happened against Liverpool but sometimes you get a big slap on the face and that’s a good thing to get back to reality.

“Every single area has to be much better.  I can’t discuss the specifics but we need to do better. That’s all I’m interested in for the next six or seven weeks.”

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