‘Disgrace… embarrassing’ – Arteta raging after Arsenal lose unbeaten record to controversial Newcastle winner

Dave Tickner
Mikel Arteta issues instructions at St James' Park
Mikel Arteta issues instructions at St James' Park

Mikel Arteta was furious after seeing Arsenal’s unbeaten start to the Premier League season ended by a controverial Anthony Gordon goal at Newcastle.

Gordon struck midway through the second half of a tense, tight game to give Newcastle a 1-0 win, but the goal only stood after a lengthy VAR check that studied three separate things: whether the ball went out of play in the build-up, whether Joelinton had fouled Gabriel in assisting Gordon, and whether Gordon himself was offside. The video footage available for all three possible infringements was unable to provide compelling evidence on any one of them, meaning the goal stood.

It was a decision Arteta labelled a ‘disgrace’ and ’embarrassing’ in a game that had already seen a pair of controversial incidents in the first half when Arsenal’s Kai Havertz and Newcastle’s Bruno Guimaraes could both have potentially seen red.

Arteta delivered a withering verdict of Newcastle’s goal, telling Sky Sports: “We lost the match because of the clear and obvious decisions.

“It’s embarrassing, it’s a disgrace, that’s what it is: a disgrace. There’s so much at stake, we’ve put in so many hours. I’m here to represent the football club and get my team to compete at the highest level.

“The margins are so small. It’s a disgrace, it’s embarrassing. That’s how I feel and that’s how everybody feels in that (dressing) room. You cannot imagine the amount of messages we’ve had saying ‘this cannot continue’. It’s embarrassing, I’m sorry, embarrassing.

“It’s not acceptable, there’s too much at stake.

“You look at the images and I don’t know how to feel. I’m wasting my time, we are wasting our time. I don’t want to be in the hands of people.

“It’s difficult enough to compete against this team – they are a really good team. It’s embarrassing, I repeat myself.”

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe unsurprisingly had a different take on events, telling Sky Sports: “It was a really tough game but a massive win. Full credit to the players for what they gave. I thought that was a really battling performance.

“I thought Arsenal were good, I thought we were good but maybe not in ways we’re both known. It was a real midfield scrap, a lot of physicality, a lot of duels and thankfully we came out on top.”

On Gordon’s goal, Howe added: “We’re in the dark. We’re stood by the side of the pitch seeing the VAR on the screen but having no pictures.

“I haven’t seen anything other than the long-term vision I had at the time. It looked a good goal but everyone else will have a different opinion to me.”

Victory lifted Newcastle into the top six and within four points of Arsenal, who are now third behind Manchester City and Tottenham.