Mikel Arteta did his best to hold his tongue, but was seething with the officials after Arsenal’s painful 3-0 defeat to Tottenham in the Premier League on Thursday night.
It was a dreadful evening for the Gunners as Harry Kane scored twice and Son Heung-Min got the third in a rousing win for Spurs.
Kane’s first came from the penalty spot on 22 minutes as Cedric Soares nudged Son in the back, while Rob Holding was shown his second yellow card just 33 minutes into the game to make things all the more difficult for Arsenal.
The Spanish boss clearly had the referee’s decisions in his mind when reacting to the game, refusing to blame his players and instead pointing the finger at the officials.
‘If I say what I think I’m suspended six months, so I cannot say,’ Arteta told Sky Sports. I’m allowed to give my interpretation of what happened in the game but I don’t know how to lie, I don’t like lying so I prefer not to say what I think. I cannot say what I think, I’ll be suspended.’
Asked if he was unhappy with his players, he said: ‘With my players, no [not unhappy]. I’m so proud of my players.
‘Ask the referee to come in front of the camera and explain his decisions. They’re his decisions.
‘It’s a shame because a beautiful game was destroyed today.’
In reality, the penalty decision may have been considered ‘soft’ but it was undoubtedly a nudge in the back from Cedric and it is hard to argue it is not a foul.
Similarly, Holding’s two bookings, both for fouls on Son, were certainly possible yellow cards, while he avoided yellow cards for other clear fouls before he was first booked.
Arsenal stay fourth, but with just two game to play Spurs are now just one point behind them in fifth.
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