Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta expressed his frustration at referee Craig Pawson’s decision not to show a second yellow card to Chelsea midfielder Jorginho during his side’s 2-1 defeat at Emirates Stadium.
Jorginho had already been booked when he tugged back Matteo Guendouzi as the Gunners midfielder looked to launch a counterattack. However, the referee opted not to show the Italy international a second yellow card.
To add insult to injury, Jorginho was the man to take advantage of an error by goalkeeper Bernd Leno to score Chelsea’s equaliser with seven minutes remaining, before Tammy Abraham’s late strike secured a dramatic comeback victory and ruin Arteta’s first home game in charge.
Arteta’s unhappiness with the decision was clear when he was asked about the incident by reporters after the game, though he refused to openly criticise the official.
When asked whether Jorginho should still have been on the pitch when he scored, the Spaniard said: “I think that's up to the referee. For me it was very clear. That's it.”
Though clearly disappointed with the result and the manner of the goals they conceded, Arteta was also keen to look at the positives.
The former Gunners midfielder has only been in charge just over a week, with the packed festive schedule meaning he has had little time on the training ground with the players.
However, he feels the squad have already begun to take on board some of his ideas and performed well for much of the game.
"I'm really disappointed with the result and the way we conceded the goals, and the timing of them as well,” added Arteta.
“(But) I'm pleased with a lot of things that I've seen. I'm pleased with a lot of things we worked on in training that actually happened in the game, and how they bought into this. But I'm disappointed to lose the game obviously. We had to sustain that level for longer periods against a very, very physical team like Chelsea.
"We have to move on.
“I don't think [it's a lack of concentration]. We're 1-0 up, pretty comfortable even if we were defending much deeper than I like. I cannot think about any clear chances for Chelsea before that.
"The decision-making happens and it will happen again for sure, but when it happens against this type of opposition you get punished.”