Arteta brands double Arsenal injustice ‘scandalous’ as frustration at Newcastle boils over – ‘that is not the way they play’

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta Credit: Alamy
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta Credit: Alamy

Mikel Arteta raged at the non-awarding of two “scandalous” penalty claims, and couldn’t contain his frustration at Newcastle when asked about their style of play.

Arsenal extended their lead atop the table to eight points, but were left with a sense of what might’ve been after failing to unpick a resolute Newcastle defence.

The Premier League’s two meanest defences squared off at the Emirates and as such, it perhaps should’ve come as no surprise clear-cut chances were in short supply.

Eddie Nketiah forced Nick Pope into a smart stop with his left foot late in the second half. The hosts also saw a series of penalty appeals waved away as an increasingly frustrated Arteta marched up and down the touchline.

The usually reserved Eddie Howe even sprang into action to meet Arteta head-on. However, the tension quickly dissipated with both sides made to settle for a hard-fought point apiece.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Arteta said: “Extremely proud of my players.

“The way we played, the way we dominated the game, controlled it. We miss in the final third that spark to find the final pass because we had so many situations to finish those situations better.

“Then we had two scandalous penalties.”

Arsenal aggrieved at two penalty incidents

The incidents Arteta referred to were a clear pull on the shirt of Gabriel by Dan Burn, and Gabriel Martinelli’s cross striking Jacob Murphy’s arm.

When asked which of the two claims he believed was the strongest, a visibly irritated Arteta stressed: “It’s not about which is the stronger.

“They are two penalties, that’s very simple.”

Arteta then refused to speak about the referee, and doubled down on describing the two non-awards as “scandalous”.

The Spaniard then continued: “I think we generated a lot of situations where we lacked the fact we needed an extra touch, an extra pass, an extra movement.

“We had enough chances to win the game.”

When asked if it was personally frustrating, Arteta replied: “No, I’m so proud of this team.”

Arteta frustration at Newcastle shut-out shines through

On the subject of more teams coming to north London in the future aiming to eek out a point, the Gunners boss said: “I don’t think Newcastle wanted to set up like this [defensively with 10 men behind the ball].

“That is not the way they play, they haven’t played against any team like this. So it’s credit to our players.”

On being made to settle for a point, Arteta added: “Well if you cannot win don’t lose.

“We keep a clean sheet. We have a really good performance and we go again.

“I wanted to win the game and we draw it. We should’ve done certain things better, especially in the final third and we should’ve had two penalties.”

Sky Sports commentator Gary Neville voiced his concerns during the broadcast over Arsenal not being able to change the game from the bench if unable to unlock a tight defence.

Moves for Mykhaylo Mudryk and/or Joao Felix would help in that regard, along with the return of the injured Gabriel Jesus, of course.

January transfers addressed

“We have what we have,” shrugged Arteta. “We obviously have some injuries in attacking areas and don’t have many options. It is what it is.

“I’m so proud of them.”

Finally, Arteta was asked about any potential new additions.

“That’s something that we always try,” he concluded. “Every window is really important because we still have a lot of things to do in this team.”

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