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'Refs destroyed our beautiful game!' - Arteta fumes as Arsenal suffer Tottenham meltdown

1:28 AM GMT+4 13/05/2022
Mikel Arteta Arsenal Tottenham 2021-22
The Gunners were plagued by mental mistakes against Spurs on Thursday

With the chance to secure a place in next year's Champions League, Arsenal suffered a self-inflicted meltdown against Tottenham on Thursday, conceding an early penalty and going down to 10 men within 33 minutes.

Cedric was judged to have fouled Son Heung-min in the box in the 21st minute - a decision the Gunners fiercely disagreed with - before Rob Holding received a second yellow card in the 33rd minute.

Tottenham took a two-goal lead into half-time and extended their advantage over the visitors in the second half to win 3-0.

Arsenal concede early penalty

The Gunners went behind 1-0 as Harry Kane converted from the spot, but they were unhappy with the penalty decision.

"If I say what I think I am suspended for six months," manager Mikel Arteta told Sky Sports. "I don't know how to lie so I prefer not to 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 today.

Red card for Holding

How else did Arteta react?

"To take that risk [of bringing on centre-back Ben White] in the situation of the game made no sense," Arteta told Sky Sports. "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 back.

"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."

What was at stake?

Arsenal are attempting to make the Champions League for the first time since 2016-17, and they could have wrapped up that accomplishment on Thursday with victory.

However, their celebrations are now put on hold until at least next week, with Tottenham now pulling to just one point behind the Gunners for fourth place with two games to go.

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