Mikel Arteta insists 'clear and obvious' decisions cost Arsenal in Aston Villa loss

  • Arsenal dropped to second in Premier League table after defeat at Aston Villa
  • Late Kai Havertz equaliser immediately disallowed by referee Jarred Gillett for handball
  • Gunners boss Arteta gave a cryptic response after the 1-0 defeat

Arsenal were denied a late equaliser
Arsenal were denied a late equaliser / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Mikel Arteta hinted Arsenal were denied a late equaliser in the 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa by "clear and obvious" errors from officials on Saturday night.

John McGinn's early first half strike had Villa marching on to another deserved victory, though the Gunners threatened to snatch a draw and looked like they had done when Kai Havertz bundled in.

Referee Jarred Gillett immediately blew for a free-kick for Villa for handball, with replays showing the ball hit Havertz's hand before ending up in the back of the net.

FA rules state "it is an offence if a player scores immediately after the ball has touched their hand/arm, even if accidental".

Kai Havertz
Arsenal suffered their second league defeat of the season / Neal Simpson/Allstar/GettyImages

Speaking after the game, Arteta - who was in the stands at Villa Park serving a one-match touchline ban - told Sky Sports: "I prefer not to comment."

In his post-match press conference, he added: "I'm very disappointed with the result, especially with the way we played, I think we deserved much more than what we had, I thought we were the better team, I haven't seen a team do what we did to Villa today since we were here in February.

"It wasn't enough to win it because we lacked the accuracy in the opponent's box to put the ball in the back of the net with the amount of situations that we generated."

Arteta was also displeased with a ruling not to penalise Douglas Luiz for a clash with Gabriel Jesus in the penalty area which he labelled "even clearer".

He added: "Clear and obvious. Clear and obvious. That's what I mean.

"That's my opinion, that's all I can say."

Arteta is already due to receive a verdict from the FA over comments he made after Arsenal's defeat at Newcastle in early November, when he criticised an "embarrassing" VAR decision that saw his side lose 1-0 at St James' Park.