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Mikel Arteta refused to blame Arsenal’s defensive form and was disappointed with some of the referees after being hammered at Manchester City.
Ferran Torres struck twice as Manchester City piled the misery on Arteta with an emphatic 5-0 win over 10-man Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday lunchtime.
Pep Guardiola’s champions never looked back after taking a 2-0 lead inside the first 12 minutes of a one-sided Premier League meeting with goals from Ilkay Gundogan and Torres.
The Gunners then capitulated after the dispatch of Granit Xhaka with Gabriel Jesus, Rodri and Torres completing the route.
“I’m angry because of the consequences it had for the team,” Arteta said BT Sport when asked about Xhaka’s red card.
“It simply came to our notice then [Granit] Xhaka, he is trying to get his feet away from the referee and a decision is made against the referee.
“I have to say that the line we are being judged on is really, really thin because we have seen such actions in the first two Premier League matches and nothing happened and I am disappointed.
“I am very disappointed with the second goal because of the way they allowed that goal.
“The first goal was the most disappointing, we had control of the game, we took the match exactly where we wanted.
“The first action they have, we do not manage to stop the post, and Gundogan has a free header in the middle of the goal. If you want to win this stadium, it’s the basic thing you have to do right.
“The second goal we admit is a clear mistake because he beats Calum [Chambers] in the face. When we admitted after the red card, you know what’s going to happen.
“When we had to make decisions, we looked nervous. We stopped playing back to the goalkeeper.
“We have to make better decisions when we get into the last third – the one with Bukayo Saka, which I think is a push and another with KT (Tierney).
Asked whether he got the defensive system wrong, he added: “We have played that system before, last week we played with four left against Chelsea and lost.
“Every time you lose a game, we understand that people say you should have played the other system. We understand it and must accept it.
“I think we started the match really well, and in the first situation they had the ball in our box, and we defend the post, we defend the race in the field, and then we are 1-0 down, so we tried to go again.
“I think we tried to create some situations, and then the other one that was a hit, and the referee lets it go, and then we are 2-0 down, and after the red card (there was) clearly a mountain to climb. ”
Arteta wants ‘pride’
Arteta thanked the fans and said he was “proud” of the support they gave, despite the result.
“When you lose games, it’s impossible (to sell the idea of a project), but you saw that we had 3,000 fans today, and the way they reacted to the team and the club, and the support they gave it, was unconditional that that was why everyone went and said ‘thank you’ and that was why I am really proud of it.
“I’m sorry we can ‘t give them the result right now and we’ll have to fix it,” he told the BBC.
“For me, it is pride and more willingness to change the situation. A lot has happened in the last three weeks, we are in a difficult position.
“The international break will do us good by restoring some of the big players we are currently missing. And hopefully we will come back, we are a better place. ”
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