Mikel Arteta took a leaf from Jose Mourinho’s book in a tense post-match interview after Arsenal were made to pay for Rob Holding’s early dismissal against Tottenham on Thursday evening. Harry Kane’s first-half brace gave the Gunners a mountain to climb before Son Heung-min’s close-range strike after the interval secured a memorable win for the hosts, who maintained their hopes of securing Champions League football next season by claiming all three points in the second north London derby of the campaign.
Arsenal started well but were pegged back when Cedric Soares gifted Tottenham an early spot-kick that was duly converted by Kane before the England ace went on to double his tally just moments after Holding’s dismissal. The 26-year-old was sent off after picking up a second yellow card for a brainless foul on Son, who added a third goal for Spurs after half-time to rubber-stamp his side’s biggest win over Arsenal since 1983.
Arteta was visibly furious with the match officials when quizzed by Sky Sports on the action that unfolded after the final whistle. The Spaniard appeared to emulate Mourinho by refusing to speak about Tottenham’s early spot-kick or Holding’s sending-off before urging referee Paul Tierney to explain his thinking to the world in front of the cameras.
“If I say what I think I’m suspended [for] six months,” fumed the Arsenal boss. “I don’t know how to lie and I don’t like lying so I prefer not to say what I think, I cannot say.
“With my players no [I’m not unhappy]. I want the referee to come in front of the camera and explain his decisions. A beautiful game was destroyed today.”
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