Tottenham star gives brutally honest assessment after Arsenal defeat

Dejan Kulusevski feels his Spurs side have to show more maturity (Picture: Getty Images)

Dejan Kulusevski admitted that Arsenal are a long way ahead of Tottenham in terms of mentality after defeat in the north London derby on Sunday afternoon.

Arsenal raced into a 3-0 lead at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, scoring three times before half-time, but the home team roared back after the break.

Goals from Cristian Romero and Son Heung-min gave Spurs plenty of hope but the Gunners held on for a huge victory as they stay top of the Premier League table.

It ended up being very close, but Kulusevski was damning of his team’s efforts against their local rivals, saying they need to be more disciplined and mature as they develop as a team.

‘They are much more disciplined. Much more disciplined and a little bit more mature,’ the Spurs winger said of Arsenal. ‘That is where we are lacking at the moment.

‘They score on corners. We concede. It is quite easy. You can also see on the second goal it is too easy. A long ball from Kai Havertz to Bukayo Saka and it is 2-0. Of course we have to improve on that here.

‘It is always the bigger picture in sport. But then we have to take responsibility. We have to win games. We have to improve. If we are not doing that then people are of course going to be disappointed. We have to grow because you cannot concede easy goals like that. The football is quite good. But we have to improve here.

Kai Havertz scored Arsenal’s third at Spurs (Picture: Getty Images)

‘Mentality is important. It is all in life. That is the only thing that matters. The head. You can be how good you want in football but you’ve got to be strong in every situation. Of course, they, Arsenal have obviously done that in the last period. They fight to win the league. We still have to do that. We are improving in other areas. We still lack a little bit in that part.

‘I don’t think it is about ambition. I think everybody wants to win but then you have to sacrifice a lot for that. It is a lot. Talking about mentality, do you think it is easy to be down 3-0 at half time and then go out and play 3-2 against the ones that are first? That is also mentality. Second half was unbelievable.

‘We are showing it, it is just that you have to show it for 90 minutes. If not it is difficult. We are showing it in bits but we have to do it much more consistently.’

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta admitted he was asking for divine intervention late in the game as Tottenham pressed for an equaliser.

David Raya made a glaring error for Tottenham’s first goal (Picture: Getty Images)

‘I was praying when Spurs put the ball in our box,’ said the Spaniard. ‘It was a really emotional game, a really tough place to come in this stadium and a tough team to play against. We were 3-0 up, in control of the game, then in the second half we were dominating the game and creating chances. Then an individual error happens, that puts a message in your brain.

‘We were dealing with the situations better, another [goal] and then it’s game on. They have the players and the quality to commit a lot of players forward. We had to suffer and react and I’m very pleased that we did.’

MORE : Paul Merson reveals ‘worry’ for Arsenal next season and urges Mikel Arteta to sign new striker

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