Mikel Arteta condemns Xhaka for dismissal pivotal in Arsenal defeat

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta condemned Granit Xhaka for his red card versus Burnley, claiming it was “even worse” than Nicolas Pepe’s dismissal versus Leeds.

The Gunners created the bulk of the game’s chances, and appeared the far likelier of the two to make the breakthrough mid-way through the second half.

But proceedings took a turn for the worse for the hosts when Xhaka received his marching orders after grabbing the throat of Ashley Westwood.

Speaking to Sky Sports initially about his side’s performance in defeat, Arteta said: “You saw the performance of the boys, how much they wanted it, the chances we created and then we threw the game away with the red card.

“We had total control for 60-70 minutes and should have won it earlier.”

The dismissal of Xhaka was undoubtedly the game’s turning point, and Arteta understandably took a dim view of his midfielder’s actions.

“Same words [as when Pepe was sent off before]. In these conditions even worse. I think it is related into how much will and energy they put into the games but it is not an excuse. I am sure he will [admit fault].

Xhaka.Arsenal.TEAMtalk

FULL MATCH REPORT: Arsenal lose their way as ill-disciplined defeat piles pressure on Arteta

“You go on Wednesday against Southampton at home and try to win the game. We have to score a goal, we have to put the ball in the net.

“We were on top from the beginning to the moment of the sending off. We are not winning soccer matches and I am here to provide wins. Everyday work on it.”

 

Tierney reacts to full-time boos

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Gunners full-back Kieran Tierney also spoke to the press, telling Sky Sports: “We are not showing the manager what we can do and how much we believe in him.

“Every game there are signs we are doing a bit better but it is still not good enough. At half time we need to be going in in the lead but we are not doing that.

“It is hard to say the red card cost us the game. It was always going to be a lot tougher.

“Hard work is the only thing [that can fix this], nothing else for it. There are no excuses. There is nothing I can say that will make people believe a positive thing is going to come out of this.

“We are lucky we have a great manager. We just need to show better on the pitch.”

On boos at full time: “It was deserved. They are coming out here and supporting us.”

 

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