LONDON – Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta slammed his side’s home form as “terrible, unacceptable” after they slumped to a 1-0 Premier League defeat by Everton on Friday to fall even further behind in the chase for European football next season.
Arsenal had plenty of chances in the second half and a penalty decision reversed by VAR before an own goal by keeper Bernd Leno gifted the visitors the three points as the Gunners lost for the seventh time at home in the league this season.
“We were the better team. We lacked some clear-cut chances and the edge in the final third. They are very well organised, but we conceded the goal in the wrong moment,” said Arteta, whose ninth-placed side are nine points off the European spots.
The Spaniard also fired a broadside at the match officials, who first awarded a penalty for a trip on Danny Ceballos but then reversed the decision when VAR found that Nicolas Pepe was offside in the build-up some 15 seconds earlier.
“To disallow a penalty 15 seconds before, (after) eight or nine touches – I saw it 10 times and I don’t get it. It can be taken the way they want. Zero control. Somebody has to explain that,” an exasperated Arteta told Sky Sports.
Everton coach Carlo Ancelotti was delighted to bring his side’s 25-year wait for a win at Arsenal to an end, and equally happy to snap a five-game streak without a league victory.
“It (winning at Arsenal) is an unbelievable gift for our supporters. A good performance – not top, but solid. We tried to play if possible and we were lucky to score a goal,” he said.
“Finally I can say we are back. We had a difficult moment with lots of injuries, but this victory gives us more motivation for the next games,” he added with his team one point behind Liverpool, who are seventh, and three off fourth-placed Chelsea.