“If I say what I think I am suspended six months” – Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta hits out at referee for destroying game against Tottenham

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta struggled to contain his fury at referee Paul Tierney following his performance in the Gunners’ 3-0 north London derby defeat.

Tottenham Hotspur were awarded a penalty in the 21st minute when Cedric Soares appeared to barge Son Heung-Min over in the area while trying to defend a cross. Harry Kane then fired the subsequent spot-kick past Aaron Ramsdale to open the scoring.

The Gunners’ evening got much worse 12 minutes later when defender Rob Holding was sent-off for two needless yellow cards in quick succession.

Tottenham capitalized shortly after when Kane headed in from a corner as they went into half-time leading 2-0. Son scored just after the break to complete the rout and move Spurs to within a point of Arsenal.

After the full-time whistle, Arteta was clearly furious with the referee, who the Spaniard believes killed the game as a contest.

When asked about Tierney’s decision-making, Arteta told Sky Sports (as per BBC Sport):

“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.”

“I cannot say what I think.”

He continued:

“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 today.”

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

🗣️ “If I say what I think I’m suspended six months” #AFC boss Mikel Arteta was NOT happy with some of the decisions in his side’s 3-0 defeat to Tottenham #NLD… 😳https://t.co/3GirpGLDF9

Arteta claims Arsenal are already focused on their next game following defeat at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium

The Gunners blew their chances to secure their place in the top-four for the first time since the 2015/16 season. They now find themselves just a point clear of their great rivals.

When Arteta was asked how he would pick up his players ahead of the trip to Newcastle on Monday evening, the 40-year-old told BBC Sport:

“I have already done. This game is history and all our focus is Newcastle, Newcastle, Newcastle. I told them I was so proud of them and if we do what we did in the first half an hour here we will be fine against Newcastle.”

“I worry a lot about today. I really, really worry about today but I don’t worry about the performance of my players.”

“I want to be where we deserve to be.”

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