A visibly frustrated Javi Gracia felt his Watford players deserved better for their performance after suffering a 2-0 defeat at Arsenal.

The Hornets at least matched their hosts in all areas and were good value for at least a point until they were downed by a double sucker-punch in the final 10 minutes as a Craig Cathcart own goal and a rapid-fire second from Mesut Ozil gave the Gunners a seventh straight victory in all competitions.

“I’m very upset for my players because I think they deserved a better result today,” the Watford boss said. “We had a very good performance with more shots, more shots on target, a lot of clear chances to score but if you don’t score you can lose. I think we deserved more, but we try to improve, the little things we can improve.

“I think we are competing really well in all the games and all the players are frustrated because before the game they think we will be able to get a good result, playing well here. They have played well and we feel we deserved more in the last games.

“It’s better to be focused in our work, demanding in our work and try to improve little things because today I’m very proud of my players.

Arsenal rarely looked comfortable in defending Watford’s set-piece threat and Gracia lamented: “One of them was in the moment when Troy (Deeney) had a very good chance with an amazing save, but not only free-kicks. We have created with Isaac Success with Roberto (Pereyra), there were different chances in different moments.

“I think we have played really well today, with the ball, without the ball, attacking, defending, counter-attacking, controlling all Arsenal’s players. We know they are very dangerous in counter attacks but they didn’t have options to feel comfortable in their play. I think we played really well.”

Although Gracia spoke of the need to improve the “little things”, he wouldn’t criticise his players for the manner in which both goals were conceded because of the quality of their overall disaplay.

He said: “I think we are keeping a good level in all the games we have played against different teams with different results as well. I don’t want to speak we need to improve many things. Being demanding we have to do it, but today I think my players have to receive the recognition they deserve because they have played well. Only the result was bad.”