Mikel Arteta insisted he should take full responsibility after watching Arsenal slump to an embarrassing defeat at the Emirates.
Gunners boss Arteta confessed it was the first time since he took charge 11 months ago that he did not think his side played like a team.
But despite the damning criticism of his own team’s shortcomings, he accepted the blame for a major setback which leaves them in the bottom half of the table.
Arteta said: “We performed below our standards and I have to say it’s the first time I’ve seen us play and we weren’t a team.
“I take full responsibility. We didn’t start well enough, we got away with VAR for an offside situation but we lost all the races, the duels and we were sloppy on the ball.
“When we created chances we didn’t hit the target. It’s a really bad combination. We left spaces and on the counter we looked really vulnerable.
“I take full responsibility. I am responsible to make the team perform on the pitch and today we were not a team and it is my job. It is why I am standing here.
“It is a frustration. It takes a lot to build momentum, to build a way of being, living and performing and when something like that comes up it’s a hard one to take but in a hard moment you learn more than in a positive moment and I want to see how we react.”
Ollie Watkins scored twice for Villa then warned: “We can beat anyone.”
When asked whether there was more to come from Villa, Watkins said: “I think a lot, you’ve seen tonight and against Liverpool, we’re a great side and we can beat anyone.
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“It’s a good three points here against at the Emirates. We know they would pass and move it and we had to cut off the lines in midfield and I felt we did that and it gave us freedom to go and play.
“We’ve conceded a few goals the last couple of games and it’s how you bounce back and we’ve done that tonight.
“I’m loving it [at Aston Villa]. There obviously may be some pressure, new signing and everyone wants you to perform but I just need to get my head down and get the goals.”
How much more there is to come from Villa:”
Villa boss Dean Smith added: “We’re a threat with them [the attacking players] in the team. Really pleasing. They’re all blossoming really well but there’s more to come from them.
“It’s a really pleasing performance. Lots of facets to it. It was a good defensive shift from the whole team. We caused them problems with some of our counter attacking.”