Arteta rues decision but proud of his players

Mikel Arteta was left bitterly disappointed after seeing his side fall to a controversial 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United at St James’ Park.

Anthony Gordon’s goal just after the hour mark proved to be the difference, but it underwent a lengthy VAR check for the ball going out of play, a foul and offside before being allowed to stand and ended up being the contest’s biggest moment.

And the decision was not one the boss agreed with, who was disappointed that a useful point against a tough opponent slipped away.

Speaking post-match, Mikel said: “For what the boys did out there and the way a football match has to be played, and what is allowed in football to score a goal, obviously we are talking about a very different topic. I feel embarrassed to be part of this show. It is unacceptable and is an absolute disgrace.

“We conceded nothing, and I have to praise my players for the way we played here. I haven’t seen a single team do what we have coming here today, but the reality is that we are out with zero points and they have three.

“In this league the margins are so small, the competition is too big and it is unacceptable to be in this position after what we’ve done on that pitch.”

Mikel was left disappointed that his team’s dogged efforts were left unrewarded, and their unbeaten start came to an end in circumstances such as these.

A valiant display by our defenders was left unrewarded as they restricted the home side to very little in the way of goalmouth action, and Mikel was satisfied that they did everything they could to try and tip the result in our favour.

“I have no regrets with what the players have tried to do, the way they have performed,” he added. “We will continue to do that but we cannot be in the hands of other people with the amount of work that we put in and the amount of effort that goes in, how much is at stake in a game for a football club and everything that is behind us. It is not good enough and we cannot accept that, I’m sorry.”

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