Mikel Arteta has refused to focus on the officials and instead directed the blame at his team following Arsenal’s disappointing 2-1 loss at home to Chelsea on Sunday.
The Gunners suffered a derby defeat to the Blues in Arteta’s home debut as Arsenal boss, when Bernd Leno’s late blunder allowed Chelsea to cancel out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s opener for the hosts. Tammy Abraham then showed brilliant composure at close range to win the match for the visiting team with three minutes remaining
There were calls for Chelsea playmaker Jorginho to be sent off for a second yellow before his equaliser, but Arteta, 37, spoke to reporters after the game and ignored the criticism of referee Craig Pawson:
“I blame my team. We are responsible for everything we did wrong on that football pitch. The decisions we didn't get right, obviously. The other things we cannot control or change them now.”
Arsenal have one win in their last 15 games across all competitions and are 12th in the Premier League standings, with Arteta still searching for his maiden victory at the helm.
The north Londoners are back at home to rivals Manchester United on Wednesday, hoping to prevent the Red Devils from clinching a seventh win in their last nine games.
Sunday’s defeat was the first time Arsenal have scored first in the three matches since Arteta took charge, losing their discipline late on in what could have otherwise been a momentum-shifting result.
The Gunners now sit just six points above the relegation zone and could fall as low as 15th should they lose at home to United on New Year’s Day.