Mikel Arteta fuming with ref for ‘destroying’ derby after Arsenal’s defeat at Spurs

Gunners manager says he would be suspended if he voiced opinions

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Mikel Arteta was visibly furious about referee Paul Tierney’s officiating after Arsenal suffered a 3-0 defeat against Tottenham, stating he would be “suspended for six months” if he voiced his opinion on his decisions.

Harry Kane gave Spurs the lead from the penalty spot after Cedric Soares appeared to push Son Heung-min.

Arsenal’s Rob Holding was then sent off for a second bookable offence following two fouls on the South Korean.

Kane made it 2-0 before half-time, and Son added a third within seconds of the restart, as Tottenham moved within a point of their fourth-placed rivals with two matches left to play.

“If I say what I think I am suspended for six months. I don’t know how to lie so I prefer not to say what I think,” Arteta told Sky Sports.

“I cannot say what I think. I am not unhappy with my players. I am proud of my players. I want the referees to come in front of the camera and explain his decisions. It’s a shame because such a beautiful game was destroyed.

“The decision was made. We can’t change it. The referee has to make a decision in football.”

Holding replaced Ben White in the heart of defence, who could only settle for a place among the substitutes following a hamstring injury. The red card now means Holding will be suspended for the vital Monday trip to Newcastle.

Arsenal's Spanish manager Mikel Arteta gestures on the touchline. AFP

Should Antonio Conte’s side win at home to Burnley on Sunday afternoon, Arsenal will go into the clash trailing their rivals.

“To take that risk [of bringing on Ben White] in the situation of the game made no sense,” Arteta added.

“Our focus is Newcastle. This game is history. He felt something so hopefully Ben will be fit and Gabriel will recover as we do not have enough players in the backline.

“This game is history. Now it’s Newcastle. This is gone. It went out of our hands and we have to accept it. Now we need to be the team that you saw from the beginning. You lose a football match in the conditions we lost them. It’s painful. But we have a huge match on Monday so we will try to beat them.

“We have two games to play each. It’s in our hands and now we have to do our jobs. We showed from the beginning in this game.”

Arsenal end their season at home against Frank Lampard’s Everton, while Spurs travel to East Anglia to take on already-relegated Norwich City.

Updated: May 12, 2022, 10:30 PM
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